Metallic Pea

Frustrating People Since 1971.

Sweep and Ye Shall Find

with 4 comments

‘Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.’  ~ Psalm 34:11  


Parenthood is a thinking man’s game. 

As I navigate my way through the often tumultuous—yet ultimately rewarding—waters of childrearing, I find that the degree of difficulty increases somewhat exponentially in proportion to the child’s age (not to mention the added factors of disposition, personality, and degree of hardheadedness).  When one’s child is an infant, there is essentially no instruction or guidance to be given; rather, the parent need ‘only’ respond to the needs of the child and act as caretaker in the truest sense of the word.  Feed when hungry, change when dirty, and never–never–attempt to sleep.  Ever.  However, that changes as the child grows. 

Gracie Mae is now of the age where, in addition to seeing to her physical needs, we must attend to the spiritual, teaching her the proper moral and societal morés and disciplining her when she is errant.  We must instruct her in the fear and admonition of the Lord and lovingly correct her when necessary. 

She doesn’t like that. 

As I prayerfully seek to carry out my parental duties with consistency and fidelity to God’s Word, I often reflect upon my own formative years (praying all the while that my daughter does not mimic her daddy in that respect).  My daddy stressed the importance of being consistent in disciplining your child, even when it appears ineffective and the easier course of action would be to just ‘let it go.’  He has told me on more than one occasion that he thought I would never ‘get it.’  Yet, with faith, he continued to do what he thought was right, leaving the results to God. 

One such instance came to my mind yesterday as I scolded Gracie Mae for what seemed like the one hundredth time yesterday afternoon.  (In her defence, she has had a chest cold for the past four days—but that does not excuse bad behaviour.)  My folks had divorced when I was two years of age, so my daddy (a highway patrolman) raised my sisters and me alone until I was fifteen, when I moved in with my mama.  Therefore, it was necessary for us to learn young—and quickly—how to do the necessary chores around the house.  Since about the time I was eight and my older sister was ten, she did much of the cleaning and, when older, the cooking, while I was responsible for cleaning the bathrooms, doing the family’s laundry, and cleaning out the garage on Saturdays.  We both did the dishes in the evening–something akin to watching monkees write Shakespeare.

 Suffice it to say, as a young man I disliked chores.  No, I despised chores.  As a result, I attempted to do the minimum amount of work necessary to see them dispatched quickly so that I could return to climbing trees, riding my bike, etc.  It never worked.  Daddy would come behind me every Saturday to check my work and, without fail, I would end up doing them over, and over, and over because I just would not do it right the first time.  (Did I mention I was a bit hardheaded?)  But Daddy kept after me year in and year out. 

Ultimately, his consistency began to pay dividends.  One day as I swept out the garage, I decided to—gasp—actually move things out of the way and sweep behind them rather than take the shortcut and sweep around them.  I pulled a 2 x 6 board away from the wall to sweep and, lo and behold, I found a shiny quarter.  What a boon!  I continued to sweep, again moving the bikes out from beside the wood pile and—another quarter!  Now, most would obviously see that it was more than a coincidence (in the Presbyterian sense of the word) but I am not always the most observant guy in the world (ask Ashlee, she’ll tell you) and I paid no real attention after having placed the second quarter in my pocket along with the first. 

Some days later my daddy asked me if I had found any money in the garage.  I replied that, as a matter of fact, I had.  Of course!, said he—it was by design.  He had strategically placed the coins in an effort to test my thoroughness and to reward the same should I come through.  Bonanza! 

To be sure, my work ethic was not suddenly perfected in that day but my daddy’s continued efforts eventually met with success, at least I would like to think so.  I often think back to those memories at the most unexpected times.  And I count on those memories to give me the encouragement and the stamina to persevere in my efforts at raising Gracie Mae (and any future children the Lord may bless us with).  She won’t ‘get it’ all in one day, either—but I have to do my part in being consistent and leave the results up to God.  I owe it to her—and I owe it to the Lord. 

Besides, I’ve got lots of shiny quarters at the ready.


Ron Paul won yet another Republican straw poll–this one in Virginia.


Are you sure they hate us because of our Freedom!?© 


‘But I do believe that Christmas the day can be dangerously sentimental. In these days of advent the world sings together as though this child in the manger made no demands. We talk of His peace, but forget that he also brought a sword.’



To-day’s 1980’s Moment is brought to you by:

Men at Work (my FAVOURITE band in jr. high!)


Written by ninepoundhammer

December 3, 2007 at 8:01 pm

Posted in Christian Living

4 Responses

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  1. Good write up, I am always encouraged by you stead fast daily faith. My parents whipped me for years, i am sure they thought the same thing – would it ever sink in? Even through the struggles of early man hood, I came back to their lessons. Now I think they probably didn’t discipline me enough, which is not what I thought back them. Funny how things change, now I tire of the same things they use to discipline me for.


    December 3, 2007 at 11:23 pm

  2. Yeah, I’ll never forget the day I realised what my daddy had done for me. It was a specific moment of clarity I’ll never forget. I was writing a letter home from Basic Training, complaining about how the drill sergeants were on us constantly like a dirty diaper.

    Suddenly, by realising that there was a method to their madness (that we would learn how to react under pressure and somewhat reflexively) it hit me that my daddy had had a similar purpose–to teach me how to live life. He was not merely trying to ‘boss me around’; he was instilling values.

    It was a very humbling moment, one in which I felt terrible for the misbehaviour and rebelliousness I had shown over the years.


    December 4, 2007 at 8:30 am

  3. you need to post up a Talking Heads song, that is my next request.


    December 4, 2007 at 12:24 pm

  4. you will like this Matt, although Mitt will lose my vote. not that he really ever had it …..,2933,315129,00.html


    December 5, 2007 at 12:02 am

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