Electric Blue Mud Pies & Fear of Punishment
Recently I was sent the cutest video of our 17 month old granddaughter scooping handfuls of mud from one puddle and taking it and dropping it in another. She was COVERED in mud. I guess she comes by it honestly as it triggered memories of my own childhood experiences in mud.
When I was around five years old I talked my parents into letting my sister and I “swim” in a mud puddle. It really couldn’t have been deeper than six inches. We laid on our bellies and pretended to swim and slither around like snakes. Probably the most surprising part of the memory is that we had no running water. Dad took us to the neighbors for a bath.
My next memory of playing with mud doesn’t bring up warm fuzzy feelings, like the ones I get when I think of the privileged mud puddle “swim.” My aunt and uncle were building a log house and Mom and Dad spent the day helping them. My sister and I, along with our two cousins, played with toy trucks and cars in the bank where the basement had been dug out. We eventually became bored with road building, and wandered around the building site. It was then that I spied a bottle of blue carpenter’s chalk line powder. I instantly had an idea! I was going to make the most beautiful blue mud pies ever! I clearly remember sitting on the ground facing my cousin and dumping the entire bottle of electric blue powder over the mud. Before I even had the chance to make it into “pies” my parents found me. No, it wasn’t just one parent but BOTH! I was in trouble! I was sternly told I would be punished when we got home. Now I don’t know about you but when I got in trouble it was ten times worse if the punishment was delayed. The rest of the day I spent worrying what my punishment would be.
Memories are funny. You start out with one and soon your mind is running to another. By now my cousins’ house was built and we were once again visiting. I don’t recall what I had done but whatever it was I was in serious trouble and was told I would be spanked when we got home. I’m sure the punishment was deserved but once again I dreaded going home. I did my best to keep in line. I was a perfect child for the rest of the day, hoping my good behavior would help them to forget my promised punishment. It worked! They forgot. To this day I almost feel guilty for not reminding them
Like a child’s dot-to-dot picture my thoughts connect, and shift from kindergarten years to that of a teen. Again I was caught being disobedient while we were visiting someone. I knew I was guilty, I knew I had let Dad down. The silent ride home was nearly more than I could stand. Once home my father took me aside, he was crying as he said “Shawna, I can’t trust you anymore.” Now I’ve had my share of spankings, time outs, being grounded etc. but this stands by far as the hardest punishment I have ever received. Even now as I write these words it makes me cry. I believe my father’s actions were inspired. That day marked a change in my life, I never wanted to let my Dad down again!
The rapid changes in our world have people on edge. Many believe Jesus is soon to return, but instead of excitement their emotions are akin to that of a guilty child dreading going home. Why? The Bible not only spells it out clearly in the verses below but also offers a solution. If you find yourself in this category don’t despair tell Him your weakness and “… with His love He will calm all your fears…” Zephaniah 3:17 NLT
“All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in His love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love.” 1 John 4:9-10, 15-18 NLT
“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth… He Himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. .. God intended that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. ‘For in Him we live and move and have our being.’ …Although God overlooked the ignorance of earlier times, He now commands all people everywhere to repent. For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the Man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.” Acts 17:24-25,27-28,30-31 NLT”
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6 NLT