It was a very special Saturday. It was Mom & Dad’s anniversary. Eight-year-old Casey had heard his parents talking about how they were going out for dinner that evening, but Casey wanted to give Mom and Dad an extra special surprise this morning for breakfast. He wanted to make them pancakes. So Casey tip-toed down the steps to the kitchen. He had watched Dad make pancakes before (Dad always made the pancakes) so he was pretty sure he knew how to do it. Using the step-stool, he got the mix and the mixing bowl. The griddle was on the counter so he plugged it in and set the temperature according to the instructions on the box. So far, so good.
But Casey knocked over the measuring cup while pouring the mix, and it went all over the counter and onto the floor. In getting the milk, he made a trail of mix from the counter to the refrigerator. He spilled the milk while pouring from the gallon container, and it ran off the counter and onto the floor, also. Casey walked through this mess when he went to get the eggs. The first egg just splattered against the bowl and onto the counter. The second egg didn’t fare much better. He tried to wipe up the mess but only succeeded in getting it all over himself. When Casey went to get off of the stool to get more eggs, he slipped in the goo and plopped right down in the middle of the sticky mess. Big tears began to fill his eyes. He had so badly wanted to surprise Mom and Dad, but now it didn’t look like he would be able to make them pancakes after all.
Then he saw Dad standing in the doorway. Dad came over, picked him up and gave him one of the biggest hugs he had ever given Casey, getting himself all messy in the process. “Come on,” he said, “let’s make some pancakes.”
Two things to learn from our little story. 1) This is exactly how a Christian father should handle such a situation. Not to go ballistic over the mess, but to see the good that was being attempted. 2) This is exactly what happens with us when we try to do things without God’s help. We make a mess of it, and He has to come and help us clean it up. Jesus did that a long time ago. He still does.