I love this post from Glen…
The frown, the pout, the head cocked, the bottom lip thrust out… who teaches toddlers how to sulk? It’s not a look we’ve tried to inculcate. It must be some kind of primeval muscle memory. Down the generations, identical whinges have emerged from three year olds, like secret lemon juice messages becoming visible under the iron. Children are marked with the sulking signature. When the heat is on, out it comes.
Sometimes, if it’s a light sulk — a ‘lemon and herb’ sulk on the peri-peri scale — we can play the Switching Off Game. “Oh dear, someone left their grizzles on. Better switch them off.” We tap our knee, she taps her knee and gives a sheepish grin. Then she taps the other knee to turn on the giggles instead.
Impressive tactic, no? It works about once every 37 attempts. But for anything above ‘lemon and herb’, we’re in for a much rougher ride. On the far side of a triple-X hot chilli meltdown, how do you bounce back?
You tell them about Begin Again Land.
Begin Again Land is the place we get to go when we’ve said sorry. It’s wonderful. The tears are left behind. There’s no need to feel sad or bad or mad. Everything from the past is forgotten. Once we’ve crossed the Sorry River, it’s all behind us. Nothing we’ve done can stop us from walking, running, even dancing through Begin Again Land, with a smile on our face and our head held high. Our grizzles and our guilties are gone and we don’t ever have to return to them.
Begin Again Land is a place of freedom — freedom from our past, freedom from our punishments, freedom from our pouting. All that nonsense belongs in the Me-Me Swamp and all of it was washed off in Sorry River. Now the sun is shining, the King is smiling, and everyone can live free, live happy, live kind, the way we were meant to.
So dry those baleful eyes, wipe that snotty nose and stand up straight. It’s all forgiven, it’s all forgotten. Let’s go exploring Begin Again Land shall we?
Well, shall we?
Cos I’m not talking to my toddler any more. I’m talking to you. I’m talking to me. The Me-Me Swamp was extra cruddy, that’s true. But Sorry River was crystal clear. And now Begin Again Land stretches ahead. The sun is shining and the King is definitely smiling. So what are you waiting for?
Give joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:12-14)