Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Teachable Moment – A One Act Play

Scene: laundry room
Mercy Me’s “I Can Only Imagine” plays in the background
A mom is humming to the song while she is ironing
Teenage son walks in, dejected look upon his face

Mom: Hi son, what’s up?
Son: Not much mom. sigh Are my dress shirt and good jeans clean? Jane says I need to take her someplace nice tonight since I forgot her birthday last week.
Mom: Your jeans are about to go in the washer and I’m ironing your shirt now. holds up a mostly ironed and partially wrinkled shirt They’ll both be ready in time for your date. But really, what’s up? You look a bit upset.
Son: rambling I keep trying and I keep failing. I don’t mean to do it, I just do. I mean, I try to do better and not do it, but then it happens. I just wonder if it’s worth it mom. I just don’t know.
Mom: Don’t mean to do what? Is what worth it? You aren’t making any sense.
Son: frustrated sigh Trying to be ‘good’, do the ‘right thing’. It seems the harder I try the more I mess up. I didn’t mean to forget my homework, I got busy with work and stuff. I know I broke curfew last night, it was stupid. I borrowed my friend’s favorite jacket the other day and it got torn. I wasn’t paying attention and I broke dad’s favorite mug. I just keep messing up.
Mom: hanging up the ironed shirt We all make mistakes, big ones and little ones. That doesn’t mean we should stop trying to do the right thing. Paul says in Romans 7: “ I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” It is our sinful/human nature to do the things we shouldn’t, but we have forgiveness from God. If we repent and are truly sorry for what we have done wrong, God will forgive us.
Son: But I’m just going to mess up again, so why bother? I really am sorry when I mess up and I apologize, pray, ask forgiveness, but it’s just a huge circle I keep repeating. Am I making a difference? Do I change anything? No, I just keeping doing it. It doesn’t seem to do any good or make any sense. I just don’t know if I should even try. I’m just wasting my time and God’s too.
Mom: Nothing done for God is a waste of time. None of us are perfect, not even your dear old mom. Besides, does that mean if you’re just going to get hungry again, I shouldn’t feed you?
Son: Mom! That’s not the same thing. My body requires food and drink and air to survive. I know no one is perfect, but sometimes I feel like the least perfect. I don’t murder or anything but I still don’t do what I should do. I just think I should give up trying if I know I’m going to fail.
Mom: I hadn’t thought about it that way before. Hmmm, maybe that is for the best.
son looks up at mom, eyes wide
Mom: In that case, here.
mom balls up the freshly ironed shirt and tosses it to her son, reaches into the dirty laundry to pick up the jeans and tosses them to him as well
Son: What are you doing? I can’t wear the shirt like this and the jeans aren’t clean yet!
Mom: Well, you’re just going to wear the shirt and get it wrinkled again aren’t you? You’re just going to wear the jeans and get them dirty again aren’t you? Why should I wash them or iron them? Wouldn’t that be a waste of time?
Son: That’s different!
Mom: Really? How? When you wear your clothes, you try to keep them clean and you try to keep them unwrinkled, but wrinkled and dirty may still happen. Remember 1 John 1:9; “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” The Bible also tells us to continuously forgive others, sometimes we forget that we need to forgive ourselves too. We should turn from evil and seek to do good. Yes, we are going to mess up and yes we are going to sin. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to do what is right and what the Lord requires of us “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God”.
Son: sheepishly Got it mom. Thanks for the Sunday School sermon. I guess I’m not too old to re-learn a lesson. You’re right, I forgot: “As far as the east is from the west” right?
mom and son hug
Son: Ummm, you think you could iron this again and go ahead and wash these? 
Mom: laughing Sure, you got it!

There are ‘teachable moments’ in everyday activities. We can bless ourselves as we seek to encourage others. I pray this day sees you with more blesses than stresses.

In His love,