It is not uncommon, in my job as a school librarian, to have a class land in the library for me to supervise. Often times, it is the last 25 minutes of the day during the class advisory if their teacher has a meeting or responsibility elsewhere during that time.
Recently, I had a group land with me, who having nothing to do, asked if they could play cards. It was fine with me, I said, as long as they put back the chairs they had pulled away from the other tables.
After about 20 minutes into their game, I realized that the end of the day bell was soon going to ring, so I reminded them, once again, to please put the chairs back.
When the bell rang and I was wiping tables, I turned to notice that they had run out the door without doing the one simple thing I had asked.
I must admit that I was more than just a tad bit annoyed. I started mumbling to myself about how I had been nice and kind to them by letting them play a game, and instead of being grateful, they couldn’t even take the time to be considerate and push the chairs back where they belonged.
As I stewed in what I felt was very justified annoyance, it dawned on me that this is exactly what I do to the Lord.
How many times do I see His kindness towards me in the day, and stop to thank him for it or respond obediently to something I know He wants me to do?
How often am I in too much of a hurry to acknowledge him or what He has done for me?
In what ways do I take advantage of His goodness, His mercy and His gifts?
When I feel dismissed, ignored or disrespected, do I ever think I may make God feel the same way?
What regretful thoughts flooded my mind as I wiped down the tables and pushed in the chairs, thinking of all the times that the Lord has been generous to me, cleaning up my messes, as I run on to the next thing.
So it seems the imperfect students reminded imperfect me that I do the same things to a perfect God . Nonetheless, his long suffering, patience and loving kindness continue to sustain me day in and day out despite my many shortcomings.
I wonder how many chairs in my life over the years, has God pushed back to the table?
I hear He doesn’t keep track of those things.
And neither should I.