Grasping at Roots

Being an analytical person and raising six kids pretty much means I’m going to have at least a few analytical thinkers in the group.  Normally this is a good thing, but there are times when I’m frustrated because I don’t need them to fully analyze a situation.I need them to ACT and ACT QUICKLY.

This morning my oldest daughter (third child) was changing the kitty litter.  She needed an extra hand and her sister (fourth child) was standing nearby.  Older daughter says, “help me!”.  Younger sister says, “why?”

This always sets up the same dynamic…older child gets angry with younger child and the fight is on.  I’ve tried explaining things in many different ways to these kids about being kind, considerate, helpful, etc. but there are these times when the analytical brain kicks in and the other must PROVE there is a true NEED before the one being asked (or sometimes commanded) will agree to provide assistance.

This morning as I watched AGAIN this same dynamic a thought hit me.  It is at these times that I KNOW it’s God because I’m just not that smart…at least not when it comes to raising children or people things.

After I instructed the child to just help I asked her this question.

“If you had fallen over a cliff and were clinging for your life to a root and you cried out for help would you want the person to come over and provide immediate assistance or would you rather they ask you: why are you there?  What do you need me for?  Can’t you get out by yourself?  If you’d just….”

I explained that when someone says “HELP” me then you need to FIRST HELP them.  After you have provided assistance then you can spend time analyzing the situation and what went wrong and how to avoid it in the future.

It made me wonder in our lives when others seek our help what is our reaction?  Do we:

  1. Ask them how they got there?
  2. Criticize them for getting into the mess?
  3. Offer advice on how to get out?
  4. Maybe we just walk away thinking it doesn’t concern us.

I admit there are times for questioning, times for encouragement and even times for admonishing but I believe those things would be accepted from someone who was first helpful, kind and supportive.



Leave a Reply