Yesterday morning I asked my 7-year-old daughter to go out to the car (located in the garage) and get something for me. She hesitated, moaned, groaned and murmured about it. Then, my 4-year-old (who happened to be within hearing distance) said, “Daddy, I will go and do the things which the daddy commands” (we’ve been studying 1 Ne. 3:7 and have been liberal on our ‘likening’ it to the small slaves that live in our home) and I said “great, please go out into the garage and get the green bag”. She happily agreed and off she went.
About 4 seconds later I heard her yelling, “Daddy, I can’t open the door”. So, I stopped what I was doing and walked to the garage door, unlocked it, and let her into the garage. I then watched her run down the two stairs and arrive at the car door. She tried to open it a couple of times and then looked back at me and said “Daddy, it’s locked. I can’t open the door”. It wasn’t locked (I knew this), but she just wasn’t quite strong enough to open the door. So, I walked down the two steps into the garage and opened the car door for her. She happily jumped into the car in an effort to do her duty.
About 2 seconds later she turned to me and asked “Daddy, what am I getting again”? I told her she needed to get the green bag from the car – and she happened to be standing right next to it. She grabbed the green bag, jumped out of the car and headed into the house happy as can be. I shut the car door, walked up the steps, shut the garage door, and as a family we put the green bag to it’s intended use.
As I was standing on the garage steps watching her try her best to open the car door, and in the hours since I can’t help but feel just like our Father in heaven when he asks us to do something – even if and when we do it happily. It turned out that I went all the way to the car to the very spot where the green bag was located anyway – so I could have just gotten it myself. But, now there is a 4 year old who is pretty sure that she went all the way to the car and got the green bag for me because I asked her to – and she is right.
Heavenly Father asks us to do stuff, and sometimes we jump right up and do it cheerfully. Then, we get 4 seconds into the task and we can’t open the garage door because it’s locked. So we ask for help, and he comes and opens the door for us. Then he watches us as we bound down a couple of steps and come to the next obstacle (another door). We ask for help again, and he comes to where we are and helps us again. We might even need yet another reminder about what it is that we are looking for in the first place, and it happens to be really close to where we are – so we ask (again) and he answers (again).
As parents, we can all relate to the joy that we feel in helping a child succeed. Let’s just remember that we are all the 4-year-old children who need help every step of the way.