I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
It's no secret that I write often about my granddaughter, Virginia Rose. And, to be honest, I paint a glowing portrait of her almost every time. That's because it's so easy to do. Virginia is, for the most part, an outgoing, energetic, and cheerful child.
But, just like all of us, Virginia has her less than picture-perfect moments. Especially when she is overtired or simply not feeling up to snuff. Now that I'm caring for her at least three days a week while her mom and dad are working, I'm witnessing a bit more of her "dark" side. Admittedly, some days, more than this Gammie would like to see.
Virginia assumes, in typical three-year-old fashion, that the world revolves around her. If anything uncomfortable or disagreeable happens, it immediately becomes a personal affront, and someone else is to blame for her distress. One of her favorite "go-tos" when a crying fit descends upon her is to say, "___________ make me cry again!" You can fill in the blank with Daddy, Mommy, Papa, or Gammie depending upon the circumstances.
The other day, Papa, a.k.a. Danny, carries Virginia down to the garage and sets her in her car seat so we can fetch her mom from work. As he tries to secure the seat belt, he accidentally pinches her arm at the shoulder. She is already not feeling great, and this incident only fuels her fire. She begins to wail, "Papa make me cry again!"
I don't think I can endure another one of Virginia's hysterical fits while trying to drive, so, in the calmest way I can muster, I address this latest drama.
"Virginia, your Papa loves you and would never hurt you on purpose. You know that, don't you?"
Still howling . . .
"Sweetie, Gammie doesn't want to hear you cry all the way to the mall like you did the other day. Can you make up your mind to settle down?"
Still yowling . . .
"Papa make me . . ."
"No, Virginia, you're the one making you cry. No one else is responsible. I know you can get yourself under control."
Sniffling. Whimpering. Silence.
Really??? She actually listened to me? AND, stopped crying?
Then, I hear the most unexpected phrase from Virginia's lips. So startling, I'm afraid I'll burst out laughing (and hear, "Gammie, stop waffing at Ginna!").
"Git ovah yosef. Git ovah yosef. Git ovah yosef."
Get over yourself? Where has she heard that? How in the world does she, at three, know what it means?
No matter. Virginia's self-correcting litany quiets her. Turns her focus from being the victim into being accountable for her actions and feelings.
And, perhaps, for the first time in her young life, Virginia realizes she is not the center of the universe.
When we, like St. Paul, become committed Christians, the first thing we need to do is get over ourselves. It's not about us. We are crucified with our Lord. We no longer live for us, but for Him.
Our lives should reflect this.
Always . . .
Is Christ Jesus at the center of your life?
Prayer: We thank You, Father, for the gift of Your precious Son, Jesus, who laid down His life that we might become Your children, forgiven and free. Let us lay down our lives in service and thanksgiving to You, and let the light of Christ shine in our lives through Your Holy Spirit. Amen.