Our kiddos are typical siblings. They quarrel, they fight, they bicker. My son and daughter also love each other dearly. My son watches out for his sister on the school playground. My daughter encourages her brother when he’s feeling down. But boy can they squabble…especially first thing in the morning when I haven’t had a full cup of coffee yet.
This morning was no exception.
By the time I had taken care of things and sat down for my breakfast and coffee, they were already done with breakfast and finished getting ready for school. We still had about 15 minutes before we had to leave for school and even then they were going to be early.
And so they did what any elementary aged children might do when bored–bicker. Now, I want to be clear, this isn’t their default setting (though at times it might feel like it). But it was early. They were bored. And to tell the truth, my son did bait his younger sister and pick on her and tease her to the point where she got very upset at him. But then she responded in kind and started picking on him back, which then he got upset about.
After putting them in their respective corners (both literally and figuratively) I finished breakfast (but not my coffee) and we headed to the car. They were still bickering. And now it was about the little things. Where they would put their backpacks in the footwells, who had more room than the other in the car, and all that fun.
And so, before I put the car in drive, I asked them this question: “Do you guys want to have a good day today filled with fun and enjoyment or do you want to have a crabby no fun filled day?”
They both answered “A fun filled day.”
“In that case, choose to have a day like that today. You have a choice today, in fact, you have a choice each day, to begin the day well or to begin the day badly. What’re you going to choose?”
My kids thought about it for a moment and then my son said (in a very begrudgingly and sigh filled way) “To live well.”
I then asked them “What words have you spoken this morning? Have they been words of love or words that have been mean.”
Now my daughter joined in with the same tone of voice “Words that were mean.”
I put the car into drive and we began our trek to school. I said to them as we drove “Each day you have a new beginning. Each day you can choose to use words of love and have a mindset of loving others and think the days going to go well or you can choose to use words that are mean and have a mindset of being upset and thinking the day’s going to be bad.”
“Will you choose to look at today as a new beginning to look at having a good day today?”
And again, in the same tone of voice, though a bit more chipper “Yes.”
With that, they hopped out of the car and walked into school.
Each morning we have a choice. Before our feet even hit the ground first thing in the morning we can choose to be in a good mood and choose to use words of love and life or we can choose to be in a bad mood and choose to use words meanly.
More than that, for those who are followers of Jesus, we have a choice each day, each morning–will we choose to live a life exemplifying Jesus or will we chase after what we want.
Jesus says in John 14 that we are to show we belong to him, that we follow him, that he calls us friends, by loving each other and other people. And to tell the truth, this is a choice. Many people don’t always see it that way, but it really is. It’s part of this divine/human partnership.
God the Holy Spirit works in us, through us, and with us in shaping and molding us to be like Jesus. At the same time, we must choose each day to live like this. And it’s hard. It’s hard to choose to live and try to be like Jesus, to use words of love, to see the world in such a way that we see how God sees it.
But it is still a choice. And when we choose to live like Jesus, to speak words of life and love, to love as Jesus loves, we allow the Holy Spirit to move in us, through us, and with us, to make us more like Jesus. But at the same time, we have to allow Him to do so.
So, what will you choose this morning? What will you attitude be?