Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Sabrina is at that wonderful age when she has no perspective.  I remember how cute I thought it was when Catherine went through this stage and am loving the wide swings of Sabrina's emotions. 

Sabrina can instantly, and I mean instantly, go from fine to elated to devastated to fine and back to elated.  This cycling through of emotions can happen right in front of your eyes.  The extreme nature of her emotions is adorable.

Even cuter is the cause of these emotional swings.  Finding the pink crayon in the big tub of crayons can elicit squeals of joy.  Dropping a stuffed animal while strapped into a car seat can cause a meltdown.

The other day Sabrina came down the hallway to my room, bawling her eyes out.  With tears streaming down her face, she screamed out "My sister says I'm younger!" 

I really wanted to laugh, but I fought back even cracking a smile.  It was obvious that this issue was important to her and had struck an emotional chord for her.  There are times when I just ignore these kind of meltdowns, but on this occasion I had enough patience to respond to her gently (sadly, that's not always the case).

I told Sabrina "Sweetie, you are younger.  You were born two years after Catherine, so you are younger.  It's not a bad thing.  It just is the way it is."

Sabrina was not pacified.  She continue to cry.  Tears continued to flow down her face.  "But I don't want to be younger!"

Again, I tried to console her with the reality that she is younger and that is not a bad thing.  Unable to calm her down, I offered to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with her.  Because that is her current favorite show, she immediately screamed out "Hot Dog, Hot Dog, Hot Diggety Dog!" and jumped on my bed to watch the show.  See what I mean about mood swings?

This incident struck me and made me think about the triviality of some of our own emotions and how God must react to them.  

We get devastated about some issues that have no lasting consequence.  We pray for a certain guy to call.  Or for a good grade on a test.  We fret when we don't get a job.  At the time, all of these incidents seem very important to us.  Just like Sabrina's momentary devastations, we do not have an eternal, or even a life-long, perspective.  We live so much in the moment, that we allow our emotions to take over.

Does God ignore our cries and deal with the important issues?  Or does He try to console us?  If He can't console us, does He just redirect our attention?  Does He try to fix the petty situation which is causing our meltdown?

I also do not get too excited simply because Sabrina is excited.  I love her energy and her joy, but I cannot rejoice over the discovery of a crayon.  It just is not important enough for me to get too happy, no matter how thrilled Sabrina is.  Does God get as happy for us as we get for ourselves over petty joys?  I doubt it.  God knows what is important and what is just a fleeting gleeful moment. 

Sabrina will develop perspective over the next few years.  I hope I will stop my emotions and use some perspective.

No comments: