Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Dancing Around the Dirt Pile: A Lesson in Obedience

Today as I hurriedly tried to straighten my home before we had company I grabbed the broom and began to sweep the floor. In our home the majority of the flooring is hardwood, so sweeping with a broom seems to be the best way to go.

As I swept, a pile began to form, mainly composed of dirt that had been tracked in throughout the day, along with the food crumbs and trash my babies have dropped. There is never anything special about the dirt pile. Sure, once in a while my daughter Riley who is 2 will happen upon a small treasure in the pile but overall it’s a pile of dirt and trash. However, as I observed my daughter there was just something about the pile that she could not seem to resist.
This is not a new occurrence. It happens EVERY single time that I sweep the floor. I start out by observing. As the dust pile begins to form, it never fails that miss Riley will begin to get closer and closer. I stop, look her in the eyes, and give the warning that she’s heard a hundred time before, “do NOT step in my dirt pile, UNDERSTAND?” The warning has grown more stern and serious over time. She usually steps away at first, but then it happens. She steps a little closer, and a little closer. Inch by inch she’s making her way nearer to the pile of dirt. Soon, she’s dancing in circles and her circles are now around the pile. Eventually, she can’t help it, she gets TOO close and scatters the pile of dirt all over the floor again.

Sometimes this is an occurrence that takes place multiple times on the same day. I’ll sweep up the mess again, and then slowly but surely she will inch her way closer, gracefully dancing around the dirt pile, getting as close as she can without dipping her tiny toes in the dirt. But, before long, she has done it again, she slipped, she got too close, maybe in the midst of her twirl she fell directly into the pile. And there’s the dirt. AGAIN. Scattered all over the floor.

Obviously, as a parent I have to discipline her for her disobedience and her normal response is “I’m sorry mom, I didn’t mean to- I wasn’t trying to step in the dirt pile.” As I watch her, I understand her response. It is true. She was not trying to actually step in the dirt pile. What she was doing however was trying to get as close as possible to the dirt pile without actually stepping in it.

How often do I do the same thing? Maybe I am not blatantly and purposefully walking in disobedience to my heavenly Father, but I surely am trying to get as close as possible to that pile of sin without stepping in it. And, just as in the story of my little Riley, eventually I too will lose my balance and fall face first into the mess that I was trying to tip toe around.

As I have warned my Riley, my Father has usually given me a warning as well, but there is something about that particular sin that is just calling me….

As it is frustrating for me to watch Riley fall in the dirt over and over again, I’m sure my heavenly Father looks down wishing I would have just listened the first time. It would have saved me from a dirty mess.
But, just as I clean up her mess again, brush off her knees and give her another warning, the Father so graciously does the same to me each time I fall.

The moral of the story- #1 Don’t get so close. If there is a sin in your life that seems to draw you in, keep your distance! Our human nature will always want to get as close as possible, but that will always lead to falling down.
Moral #2- If you’ve already fallen down, don’t worry, the Lord is right there ready to help brush you off, and give you another chance. Thank God for His amazing grace! Now, remind yourself the moral #1 again J.

2 Timothy 2:22 “Flee the evil desires of youth, pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace…”


  1. As I started to read the blog, I thought I knew the direction it was going. Like in, "if your little one wants to dance with the broom, it's ok to put aside the housework and join her in dancing with the broom, around the pile of dirt." You surprised me and I had to laugh at myself. Things are not always the way I expect them to be. The dirt, representing the sin, is not something to mess with. Nothing to under-estimate or rationalize. Even a senior citizen like me can get deceived by the enemy. Loved the story. I pictured Riley with a most mischevious grin on her little face and her little dance steps to a cute little voice singing her favorite church song as she danced the forbidden dance around the pile of dirt. And I tried not to laugh. :)

  2. I watch my son do the same dance with my broom. much to my frustration. I love how you connect this picture with the truth about sin in our lives. I'm so thankful our Father is forgiving; picks us up and dusts us off. I'm also thankful for your reminder that we don't have to fall into sin. We can stay away from the piles of dirt. Great post, Sarah!

    PS: Found you through Titus 2 Tuesday

  3. Thank you Heidi! I was SO excited to get your comment! You are the first one I have received from entering a few link up parties!! :) And, I love that you were able to relate to this post!