Several years ago my mother-in-law asked me, “So, what do you do when one boy wants to go to the park and the other one wants to make cookies, but you really don’t want to do either one because it’s almost naptime?”
“Um. I say no.”
She was so busy being Super-Grandma, the thought hadn’t crossed her mind.
She and I still chuckle at this and I often remind her as I drop the kids off for an afternoon, “Remember: you can always say no!”
As parents, we say no. (Or we should.) But we don’t like to hear it ourselves, do we? “No” is simply not the American way.
When my friends and I were in Colorado, we ate at a resteraunt in downtown Estes Park. It was a moderately nice place, and as we placed our orders, my Aussie friend asked for a bowl of soup and an elk patty “with no bun or anything.” (We were all curious to try elk.) “Can I get that?” my friend asked.
The waitress looked her in the eye and said, “No.”
It was hilarious. And yet the American in me wanted to get the manager and insist that my friend get exactly what she wanted. My British and Aussie friends simply moved on. “Oh, okay.”
When is the last time someone told you “no, you can’t have that?” Is it any wonder we walk around with a sense of entitlement, angry with God when He doesn’t do things exactly our way? Angry because we really, really want something, and He seems to be saying “No?”