We hear those words a lot. It might be Peter or me admonishing one of our children. Or, just as likely, Penny reprimanding her brother. Despite the frequency of the command, grabbing is a part of the daily routine. Penny grabs a toy from William. William grabs my phone. Penny grabs the water on my bedside table. William grabs Penny's bear.
Invariably, there are tears, or pouts, or spills. So we start from the beginning again: "Instead of grabbing, let's share. Penny, why don't you ask William if you can play with that toy for a little while?"
She puts on her sweetest voice, "William, may I have the whistle now?"
Sometimes he says, "NO!" and walks away. But usually, he holds it out to her, she uses it once, and returns it. "Thank you, William."
What's struck me lately is how much I need to learn the same. As an adult, I want to grab for less tangible goods than my children do–I grab for money, beauty, approval, success, commendation. And yet grabbing leaves me in the same place it does then–with sharp words, hurting others. Grabbing gets me less, even as I'm yearning for more.
I've been reminded of Psalm 131 lately:
My heart is not proud, O LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.
But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, put your hope in the LORD both now and forevermore.
Or, in less poetic language, "Don't grab."
Penny recently has wanted to "snuggle" before bed. She sits in my lap, my arms wrapped tight around her, her head on my chest. No songs. No prayers. No conversation. Just sitting together, enjoying her little body pressed against mine. For her, enjoying the security of her mother's arms.
Once more, I'm trying to be like my daughter. To sit content in my mother-God's arms, trusting that all I need will be given to me, feeling content and grateful for the abundance I have already been given.