My mother had six small children to manage as I was growing up. What a job that must have been, especially during the summer when we were all out of school and in “wild Indian” mode.
We knew we had gone too far when she would finally stop yelling and go quietly out the front door. With determination she’d march directly to our maple tree to pull a nice “switch”. Uh oh – we knew what was coming. Our little legs had those well deserved stings memorized.
As she stepped back into the house we would begin our ritual pleadings: “I’ll be good, I’ll be good; oh please – I’ll be good.” But it was too late. I don’t know why we even tried except our panic and dread got the better of us.
Sometimes even as adults we cry out “I’ll be good” to God when a self induced crisis takes over our life. We want in the worst way to rewind and not suffer the consequences of our own actions. Many promises have been made to God in the heat of pending “consequences.”
“If you get me out of this one Lord, I’ll serve you.” I’ve heard that called fox-hole theology. It isn’t always the best way to start off a relationship with God. When the heat is off, the commitment is usually off too.
Yes, turn to God when life falls apart despite having brought it all on yourself. But instead of the old; “I’ll be good” routine, decide to serve God fully even if you have to walk through some consequences. They may benefit your memory before the next “I’ll be good” episode presents itself.