Friday, October 5, 2007

Red Day, Green Day

My son’s daycare is great.  Maybe it’s because we were the first family to sign up with them when they opened, but they’ve always treated us, and our kids, well.  That being said, they need to keep order.  Order and control are two really important things when you are responsible for two hundred kids under the age of five.  So, for the older kids, they have a system.  If you have a “green day” it means you have had your “listening ears” on, you’ve “played well with your friends”, and you haven’t been “ugly” (ugly being an attitude not unfortunate genetics).  I think more adults need to have green days.  A “green day” is indicated by a green smiley face on their behavior chart.  Some times they even get a sticker. 


The next step down from a “green day” is a  “yellow day”, indicated by a yellow straight face.  No smile.  Yellow means their “listening ears” were broken part of the time and they may have talked back to the teacher.  Then there is a “red day”.  This means that they got sent to see the principal and they were acting more like a rabid wolverine than a human child.  “Black day” means that there was gnashing of teeth and they had to call the National Guard.  All this is just the introduction.  Here’s the story.


The other day I picked up Brehm from school and, before I got him from the playground, I checked his behavior chart.  Sure enough, he had had a green day.  He even had a sticker of a ladybug that said “super”.  But this is where it got strange.  When I picked him up, and we got in the car, he insisted that he had a “red” day.  I mean he really insisted.  I told him that I had checked his chart and that it said he had done great. 

“No, Daddy, I had a bad day.  I can’t have strawberry milk,” he said referencing our reward for a “green day”. 

“Sure you can, Buddy!  I saw your chart and you had a green day.”

“No I didn’t!  It was red!”

And this went on for most of the ride home until I was finally able to convince him that he had a “green day”.  It amazed me that I had to try so hard to get him to believe his innocence.  As his dad, it broke my heart.  And, as is often the case in situations like that, God gently reminded me that He’s a dad too. 


He reminded me that anyone who claims to be sin-free is a liar.  But Its also true that when I repent and God declares me innocent but I continue to wallow in my shame and condemnation, I’m doing what Brehm did.  I’m not trusting my Daddy.  And it breaks His heart, because His forgiveness is complete and He tells us over and over again.  That’s why Jesus said, “It’s finished”.  Done.  Case closed. We get a “green day” on the behavior chart.   Our sin gets put as far as the East is from the West.  I’m glad God didn’t say North and South.  If you sailed North far enough you would eventually start heading South.  They meet at the poles.  But if I went East……Even if I got back to where I started from, I would still be heading East.  East Never becomes West.  Ever.  And so, for anyone with a broken and repentant heart, the “behavior chart” called the Bible declares, “Green days” for all of us.  And we have a Father who just can’t wait to give us strawberry milk.