My son. Though five, he has already perfected those puppy-dog eyes that he thinks will get him most anything he wants. And it does, mostly. I steal a peek at the peas on his plate. In order to get dessert, the peas must be gone.
“I ate a lot of them,” he says.
“Okay,” I say. (I can’t say anything. I still have peas on my plate, too.)
I grab a bowl from the cupboard, his favorite ice cream from the freezer, measure out a scoop and a half, and place it in front of him.
He eyes it suspiciously.
“I don’t want this,” he says.
“I thought you wanted ice cream.”
“It’s your favorite,” I say.
“So what’s your problem?”
“You gave me the wrong bowl.”
“But it doesn’t matter what bowl it’s in,” I answer, “It’s still ice cream.”
“But I want the blue bowl. This one’s white. I really don’t like the white one, Daddy.”
“Are you going to eat the bowl?” I ask.
“Then I don’t see a problem.”
“I do. I have the white bowl.”
“Well,” I answer, “you either eat it out of the white bowl, or you skip your dessert.”
I have him. No way will he pass up a bowl of ice cream. Not even if it’s in the wrong bowl.
“I’ll skip it then,” he says. He gets up to play, leaving me alone with my thoughts.
How many times have I asked God for something and then questioned Him when it was given in the wrong package? I’ve asked Him for love, and it came in a broken heart. I’ve asked him for happiness, and it came in want. I’ve asked Him for peace, and it came in hardship.
I got what I asked God to give me. It just came in the wrong bowl.
What about you? What’s your bowl?