That’s Not What I’m Doing

A few evenings ago, the Joneses were over at our house for dinner along with Keith’s parents so we could celebrate CJ’s and Pop’s birthdays. (Curtis’s was over the holidays while they were out of town so I had a roast and mashed potatoes and green bean casserole waiting for him when they got back to Houston. It happens to be Keith’s Dad’s favorite meal, too, so they made a great pair for a Moore celebration.) My adorable grandson is not much for lingering at the dinner table once his half-pint tummy is full so, about the third time he was told to get out from under the table and back up in his chair, I started strategizing an exit plan. I didn’t have to wait long.

“Bibby, wanna play wis me?”

Sensing this was escape from an inevitable time out, I quipped, “Of course, I want to play with you!”

And, while everyone else sat at the table and talked, Jackson and I headed to the den to play. We play all sorts of things when he’s at my house. Last night, for instance, we played toy store and he “sold” me (and his mommy) various toys from his big box at Bibby’s (actually, his old pack ‘n play) for pennies and nickles that he promptly stuck in his play-wallet. It was great fun. He’s like a lot of sales folks, however. He is more inclined to sell you what he wants you to buy rather than what you request. I was just as content with his selections anyway. It makes me really happy when he thinks something like a lizard would suit me best. Last night was a departure from our norm. We ordinarily play cars. We sit across from one another, each with a matchbox car, and we say in unison, “One, two, three, GO!” And on “go,” we each spin a car as fast as we can toward the other with the chief objective to make them crash. It’s harder than you think for a boy and his grandmother and we high-five if they do.

Several nights ago, the night on the table for this post, the play of choice was blocks. Brand new ones, as a matter of fact. I’d ordered him a really cool set off the Internet for Christmas and, when I received them from UPS, the toy company had added a smaller bonus box. I promptly snatched them up for Bibby’s house. Maybe you’ve seen the kind. They’re made for little builders with all sorts of accessories like wrenches and bolts and wheels.

You can’t imagine all the shapes you can make. Hence, my story.

Jackson didn’t feel very well that evening like most people in Houston. He’d been coughing and snorting like his life depended on it. As a matter of fact, much of the time we were down on the floor in the den, building blocks, he had his head propped against my right shoulder. I reasoned to myself that when I don’t feel well, my creative juices tend to be stifled and, if that were the case for the three-and-a-half-year-old sitting next to me, he could probably use some help with construction concepts. So, I said, “Why don’t you put this piece right here?”

Shook his head.

“OK, well, how about putting this wheel on this side so it will roll really good?”

Shook his head again.

Hmmmm. Almost out of ideas. “Well, we don’t have many bolts on this side. Wanna put a few over here?”

He picked his head up off my shoulder, looked straight in my eyes, and said, not rudely but firmly,

“Bibby, that’s not what I’m doing.”

It was everything I could do not to bust out laughing.

Instead, a very serious, “Oh, I see! Sorry, Buddy. You go right ahead.”

To which he seemed relieved.

The lesson wasn’t wasted on me. I didn’t have to wait till my head was on the pillow and started spinning. I never made it off the floor without thinking how often I try to help God out with ideas. “Why don’t You do it this way?” Or, “why don’t You do so and so with so and so?”

I’m forever giving God workable suggestions about how He could – sometimes, if I may be so bold, should – handle something. Or someone.

Anybody else?

Don’t you know there are times He wants to say to us right out loud in our stubborn hearing, “Child, THAT’S NOT WHAT I’M DOING.”

Often, we just don’t know what God is doing. So often we think we do but, the truth is, we just don’t. Thankfully, He does. He really does. He doesn’t need our help. Our brilliant ideas. Or our last ditch efforts because He ignored our first ten suggestions. He just wants our cooperation.

He is constructing something beyond our human rationale. He knows in advance every piece – past, present, and future – that will be required for the finished work. He has all the patience in the universe to put it together. We see one little part and one little moment. He, the One who is, who was, and is to come, sees beyond the singular piece to every generation and condition He means to effect. Meanwhile, He works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. The one thing may not be good at all by itself. In fact, it may be horrendous. Criminal. It’s when He weaves it with all that comes before it and all that will come around and behind it that something good, something beneficial, emerges.

Never let Romans 8:28 become so familiar that you subconsciously fold it into your spiritual fairy tale file. It is as true today as it was the moment the Apostle dripped the letters on the parchment. Don’t blow them dry.

Maybe it’s not that God isn’t listening. Maybe it’s just that what we keep suggesting is not exactly what He’s doing. And, if that’s so, what He’s doing can only be better and more effectual than what we think we’d do in His place.

John 13:7 says something that keeps ringing in my ears.

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”




We WILL understand.


2 Responses to “That’s Not What I’m Doing”

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  1. 1
    Linda Lou from Dacula says:

    Since I teach school all day I don't get to read the blog as much I would like to but I have a precious friend, Ann, whom takes it upon herself to send your words to me when she knows that I most need them…this being one of them..again…I keep finding myself getting ahead of God and then wonder why nothing is happening….Now I just hear "That's Not What I'm Doing"..Got to love it!!! Out of the mouths of babes (that is why I love my job teaching first grade..what a crack up!!!)
    Linda Lou

  2. 2
    Isidra Naegeli says:

    Say yes say yes say yes say yes say yes say yes say yes say yes say yes say yes say yes say yes say yes say yes say yes say yes say yes say yes say yes say yes say yes say yes say yes say yes say yes say yes say yes say yes lol

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