Go near and listen to all the Lord our God says. Then tell us whatever the Lord our God tells you. We will listen and obey.
My husband, Danny, and I love having our granddaughter, Virginia Rose, over to our house and try to do this at least once a week. We don't have to have anything special planned in order for her to enjoy her time with us, but for two weeks straight in January, we do have specific activities for her to engage in.
Virginia is given a game for Christmas which stays at our house due to the small pieces that could all too easily find their way into baby sister, Savannah Jane's, mouth. This particular Thursday, Danny is working at home and has to take an important phone call from two until three that afternoon. I decide that's the perfect time to take Virginia back to our room and teach her how to play The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game.
I carefully explain the rules of the game to Virginia who listens attentively to my instructions. Within a few moments, we are ready to play! And wouldn't you know it? My granddaughter wins the first two games!
The following Thursday when Virginia is slated for another visit, I decide she's old enough to help me make cookies from scratch. When her mother, Sarah, tells her what she'll be doing that day, Virginia makes sure I know she wants M&Ms in her cookies instead of chocolate chips. This Gammie is happy to oblige. I purchase the ingredients the day before, and set the butter out to soften in a mixing bowl before leaving to go pick Virginia up. She isn't in our house two seconds before she asks when we will make the cookies.
"The butter isn't soft enough yet, Virginia," I tell her. "Let's have some lunch first, then you can play with your Crazy Sand until the butter is ready."
"Okay, Gammie," she says, and stays perfectly content and entertained until I deem the butter is malleable enough to cream readily with the sugar and eggs.
Because this is Virginia's first foray into baking, I decide to pre-measure the ingredients and allow her to pour them into their respective bowls. We start by placing the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set it aside. Of course, Virginia wants to play with the flour like she did when she "helped" Danny aka Papa make pizza a few weeks ago. But I manage to hold her off for a few moments with the promise of how much she'll enjoy seeing the electric mixer at work
All during the process, I explain to Virginia what ingredients we are using and why. She listens carefully and follows my instructions to the letter. She is especially elated when the mixing is done and it's time to fold the M&Ms into the dough.
And she can't resist sampling a few of the candies!
When it's time to place dobs of dough on the cookie sheets and pop them in the oven, the flour is a God-send as it keeps Virginia thoroughly occupied at a safe distance from the stove.
What I take away fro both of these delightful experiences with Virginia is how well she listens and how well she obeys. It makes me reflect upon my own listening skills, or lack thereof, when it comes to hearing God's Word and obeying His commands. Am I listening half-heartedly, or am I deliberately engaged? Am I following His lead, or wandering too often down the path of my own choosing?
And I hear Him speak to my heart:
"Go near and listen . . ."
Like a trusting child.
Eager to learn.
Eager to obey.
Are you listening to the Lord? Are you obeying His precepts?
Prayer: Father, help us to rekindle our childlike faith. Let us approach You with open hearts and minds, that we might truly hear Your Word and obey You in all things. All this we pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.