Tuesday, October 07, 2014

the sneaky christians we are

"God, investigate my life, get all the facts first-hand. I'm an open book to you, even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking. You know when I leave, and when I get back, I'm never out of your sight." -- Psalm 139:1-2

It's boys night tonight, as The Lovely Steph Leann is out of town for a work trip. I went to pick up little Campbell Isaiah from the grandparents house, brought him home, we played in the floor for a bit, and I fed him some dinner. I just realized I had Moe's Southwest at 3pm, and hadn't eaten anything before or since... crap, I'm hungry.

That's not my point.

After dinner, we do a little settling down kind of period. He does play in the floor with his toys, and we tend to have a battle over what he considers "his toys"... the big doggy with colored buttons shaped like circles and triangles on the front that play music? His toy. The DVD remote? Not his toy. The xylophone that sits on the back of a cute, plastic tiger? His toy. My iphone? Not his toy.

I'll sit in the recliner and try to do a little work, make a few notes here and there, usually while I'm watching tv (tonight is Monday, so it was WWE Raw, where The Rock came back, beat up on Rusev while making a Putin joke to Lana and... you know what, never mind that...)

Anyway, from where the recliner sits, I can see most of the room, so I can watch him carefully. And Campbell, 2 and a 1/2, with the mental development of about a 10 month old at this point, sees me. And he plots.

In The Cabana, the recliner its next to the couch, which extends to the border of the living room and dining area. We have a small gate up, going from the side of the couch to the wall, blocking off the area behind the couch--that area leads you to our DVD shelf, and ultimately, the front door. The DVDs are a factor because Campbell likes to pull them out, then not knowing how to put them back, he drops them on the floor, suddenly disinterested. The front door is a factor because he likes to stand there and play with the blinds, which we are afraid he's going to break one day... so we keep him from back there.

In front of this gate, which is really just two pieces of that plastic fence you can by at BuyBuy Baby, Babies R Us and some pawn shops and bait stores, we have put a small table. This is his table to play on, and though it comes with chairs, the chairs are put away because he likes to climb on them. And stand on them. And yes, fall off of them. Not good times... bad times indeed.

Another thing to watch is how he'll slide our dining room chairs around. And then climb into them. And then he's able to reach what he wants on the table... he usually doesn't know what he wants on the table, but he figures "what the heck, I'll climb up and see what's mine for the taking..."

Tonight, I watched him out of the corner of my eye. And he watched me, not quite as subtle. When he thought I wasn't looking, I saw him in my peripheral, slide two dining room chairs out, slowly and quietly. Methodically.

He positioned the chairs where the seats would face each other, and then looked at me. Still keeping my face to the TV, but watching him, I saw him put one foot on the bottom of the chair and stretch as far as he could with his hand to grab the back of the chair to pull himself up.

"Campbell..." I said, evenly. He froze. Looked up at me, and then slowly put his foot down. I turned my face back to the tv, still watching him out of the corner of my eye. He tried it again, when he thought I wasn't looking. "Campbell!" I said a little louder. "DOWN"

This time, he hopped down and ran across the room, immediately pushing the big red ball he plays with. 

I then watched him make it way to the gate. He stood on the corner of the couch, also watching TV like I was. And then--no kidding--he slowly BACKED UP out of my sightline behind the couch. I could hear a slight scraping sounds as the table was slid out of the way. "Campbell!" I said, "Stop!"

In a flash, he pushed the table back in place quickly so it made a much louder sound, slid it into the gate and then ran to the middle of the floor. Busted.

And over the course of two hours, he tried both of these things a few times, each time I would catch him, and each time he would run away, pretending to do something else.

"You know everything I'm going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and you're there, then up ahead and you're there too, your reassuring presence, coming and going." Ps 139:3-5

There he is, the little boy... thinking I won't see him, when in fact, I can see everything he does. He thinks he's covering his tracks, he thinks he's carefully planning, he thinks that when he puts everything in place--moving the chairs just so, moving the table slightly out of the way to open up a back of the couch front door tressel run--he can pull off his deed without a hitch, and no one will know anything.

But I know. I see it. And it disappoints me to know that not only is he doing wrong, he's trying to hide it. He's trying to fool me. He's trying to make it so no one knows he ever did it... like I try to hide my own sin. Like I try to fool God. Like I have my best laid plans in front of me, thinking that I've covered all my bases, thinking that I've thought of everything, and if I move slow, if I'm careful, if I do it right, it will all be fine...

...and we know its not. Because God sees it. God knows it. We can't hide it. And better yet, we shouldn't hide it. We are sinners by nature, and saved by Grace. 

And sometimes I think God just looks at us, shakes His head, and says, "you think you are sneaky Christians, don't you?"

"Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I'm about; see for yourself whether I've done anything wrong--then guide me on the road to eternal life" Ps 139:23-24 (The Message)

We are sneaky Christians. Sneaky Christians who never get away with it.

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