I hesitate to write this little blog especially about this little topic… Ok I have hesitated long enough. I must air my laundry and especially the laundry of my family. As I write this I hear my mother in my subconscious saying, “ Don’t write about your son like that!”… Sorry Mom.
Tucker from day one has been a rambunctious little boy full of life, love, and well… full. I’ve learned a great deal about myself, and God from my three year-old son, but yesterday taught me a new lesson. It was around 3 p.m. when my pregnant wife Lindsey, my 2 year-old little girl Charleigh, and my rambunctious little boy entered my office. His mother a bit flustered and a bit giggly told me the story.
As she entered Tuck’s classroom he jumped to his feet, grabbed his backpack, a green tractor lying next to him, and greeted his mother with a leg hug (Leg hugs are termed leg hugs because the toddler often gives the hug before the parent can drop all of the junk they are carrying and hug the child back, thus calculating the height of a toddler verses the height of an adult the leg is standard location)
After the leg hug Lindsey questioned Tuck, “ What are you doing with that tractor? “
“I puttin it in my backpack! It mine!”
The entire class of 3 year old astonished at the nerve of this little three-year old and full of justice immediately responded, “ No it not! It Parker’s!”
Tucker continued to argue with the angry mob of self-righteous three year olds, as he made a mad dash for the door, “No it mine!”
The legs and large belly of his mother again trapped him. She ask again a question that she already knew the answer to, “ Tucker is that your tractor?
Yes! It mine! She asked a third time, “Tuck is that your tractor?”
Finally, with a devilish and deviant smile replied. “ No it Parker’s.
After a bit of confusion and brilliant acting from my three- year old the tractor was returned to it’s rightful owner and Tucker now stood in my office with a blow-pop because he had been a “good boy” at school. Unsure if his mother had the discernment that I had I proceeded to interrogate my loving little boy. I think I understood the seriousness of this offense and I most importantly understood that this wasn’t a misconception; my son had reached a new level of rebellion. This was premeditated and practiced theft.
He sat in my office on my black pleather couch, purchased from Amazon, eating his blow-pop with little concern for his well being, his backside, or his toy collection. I first questioned Tucker did you know that the tractor was Parker’s?
Wyeah. He replied.
Tucker… Have you taken anyone else’s toys from school?
Wyeah… I take Taylor’s car too. He said with a sense of satisfaction and that devilish smile.
My suspicions were correct my three-year old son had learned the secret to having the best… Stealing the prized toys of other children. But he had also manifested a curse from his father and his humanity.
It was clear that my sweet little boy was infected with the same curse as me. He was and is covetous. He simple wanted something that was not his and because he wanted it he devised an elaborate and bold plan to take it. It is true war, tyranny, and injustice find fertility in a covetous heart.
The irony is that Tucker has countless matchbox cars including toy tractors. My children are the first grand children on both sides of the family, thus any toy imaginable they have and honestly if he would have asked for a small tractor from any grandparent on any weekend he would have received it. This reveals something weird about Tucker, but about all of us. More often than not we think that the things, lives, and luxury of others will satisfy our desire. So we covet! We look at the marriage of seemingly happy couples and say, I wish that was me!’ We see the couple with successful and well-behaved children and ask, “ Why can’t my kids be like that?” We see women on tv and read about men in books and say,” I would marry her? Or I wish I could meet someone like him?. And all the time the people, things, and lives that we desire to have are no better than the life we already posses. We need the enticement and the excitement of striving for something, but after we grasp that which we seek we find that it is worthless.
And to boot it all God told us not to do the very thing that is most natural for us,
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” -Exodus 20:17
The most basic and necessary question that we must ask just like a toddler is “Why?”
We could suppose that coveting leads to theft, which leads to murder in some cases. Or we could suppose that coveting leads to adultery, which leads to fractured home environments. All this supposing, however doesn’t answer the original question, but makes it a more important question.
The answer is simple. God tells us not to covet, because he knows that the collection of all that we think we desire will only create more desire.
The short of this all is that my coveting is just simply a twisting of a desire for God. Or as C.S. Lewis says a desire for something beyond this world. Here is the actual quote, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”
The beauty of my son’s covetous heart is not that he is a thief, but that he has an appetite for something beyond himself. I pray that I may direct and lead him in satisfying that desire correctly. In Christ…