My son taught me a lesson today.
We've recently been trying to keep Judah with us during the first part of the worship service so he can start learning how to sit and listen. I do not think that a 16 month old can reasonably be expected to sit quietly for an entire 30 minute sermon, but I do want him to be able to listen to the singing and enjoy being part of a believing community.
We also have decided to give Judah a dollar to put in the offering plate. (The only reason it's a dollar and not a quarter is because we can't quite trust Judah not to put it in his mouth. And while both a dollar and a quarter in the mouth is gross, I decided that a quarter was grosser.) Today was the first time we remembered to bring a dollar to give him. He took it and was admiring it and then seemed to gladly drop it into the offering plate.
As soon as we passed the offering plate back to our elder, Perry, Judah quickly realized that his dollar was gone for good. He immediately started pointing and grunting (his preferred communication method) in the direction of the offering plate, as if to say, "Hey! That was mine. Bring it back!"
I was quickly reminded of how often I do the same thing. I give something to God (although honestly, he has it all along), promise that I want him to take charge of it, but as soon as I feel it slip out of my hands and go in an unexpected direction, I am left pointing and grunting, suddenly certain that I could have done it better myself.
As Judah fussed, Jeff gently told him that the dollar was his gift to God - an offering. We don't get it back. Instead, God takes that little dollar and grows it and blesses it and uses it to support his work all over the world.
Something I need to remind myself daily - even the small bits of myself that I slowly release as He works his way into the cracks - can become something much bigger and better that I could imagine.