I have a BFF, a Best Four-year-old Friend that is, and her name is Mia. When I am in the States, I go over to Mia’s house one afternoon a week and we do things together. This summer her older brother, Ashton, has joined our weekly get togethers.
One of our afternoon rituals is to read books that Mia and Ashton have checked out of the library. On one particular afternoon, Mia chose Michael Kaplan’s Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake. It is a great book for 4 to 6-year-olds and for an adult like me:-). Let me share a brief synopsis of the story, because we all can learn from it.
Betty Bunny is a handful according to her parents and three older sibling bunnies. She likes to get her own way and is quite an insistent little bunny. For dinner one night her mother made chocolate cake. At first Betty Bunny doesn’t want to try it, but when she does she loves it so much that she declares, “When I grow up I going to marry chocolate cake.”
The next evening for dinner, Betty Bunny just wants to eat chocolate cake and won’t eat her peas and carrots. Betty was sent to her room because she threw a fit and refused to eat her meal.
A little later, Betty Bunny’s mother goes up to Betty’s room and talks to Betty about her behavior.
“Sometimes you can’t have what you want right away so you need to wait. And that’s called having patience.”
Betty Bunny replies, “But I don’t want to have patience.”
Her mother tells her that the next evening after Betty eats supper, Betty can have a piece of chocolate cake. She will save a special piece of cake for Betty in the refrigerator.
The next morning as Betty Bunny gets ready to leave for school, she opens the refrigerator door to say good-bye to her piece of chocolate cake. Betty decides that she will miss her piece of cake so much that she will just put it into her pocket and take it to school with her. That night when her family gets ready to have chocolate cake, Betty Bunny pulls her piece out of her pocket to eat it only to find that it is a gooey mess.
Her mother explains, as she gets Betty Bunny another piece of cake, “Putting cake in your pocket is not really the same as being patient.”
Betty Bunny finally understands as she promises that she will be more patient.
Ahhhhh, I thought this is a good story for Mia and Ashton to see how Betty Bunny learned the value of patience. I began to read the last page of the book believing that the author would reinforce the important lesson that Betty Bunny had learned. It read…
“The next morning, Betty Bunny opens the refrigerator door to say good-bye to her cake.
She remembered she couldn’t put it in her pocket.
And that is why she stuffed it very carefully into her sock.”
The ending caught me so by surprise that I laughed and laughed. I thought to myself now this is really what 4 to 6-year-olds might do; instead of practicing patience just try another tactic.
Later, as I thought about the story and laughed some more, a small silent voice whispered in my head, “It is not only children that act like this Vicki, but you do too.”
Yep, I thought to myself I am often like Betty Bunny. God allows a situation to come my way that calls for patience. I have no excuse, I understand that patience means I need to stay in communication with God through prayer and scripture and wait on him. But just like Betty Bunny I declare, “But I don’t want to have patience.”
Do you know how hard this is for someone like me who likes to get things done quickly and deal with a situation? I would rather attempt to fix the problem quickly, even if I just put a band aid on it and stick it in my pocket, than learn from it. When I have made a gooey mess of it, I declare to God that I have learned my lesson about being patient and I will never act that way again. And then something else comes along, and instead of being patient, I stick it in my sock!
Scripture teaches us much about the importance of patience. Proverbs 14:29a (NIV) states, “A patient man has great understanding…”
Paul writes in Romans 12 that Christians are “living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.” Paul follows this statement with directions on how to live such lives, which includes, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (Romans 12:12 NIV)
As Christian women living in this fallen world, patience is an important virtue to practice, otherwise we end up with a gooey mess!
(Living As A Woman is posted on the 1st and 15th of each month)
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