Sluuuuurrrrrp! Munch, munch, munch. Crunch, crunch, crunch. Sluuuurrrrrp! Big grin. This was after his older brother had repeatedly asked our youngest to eat his cereal with his mouth closed. I have to say that this morning wasn’t the most harmonious breakfast we have ever enjoyed together.

I’m in complete agreement, by the way, about the whole closed-mouth-chewing thing but it was hard not to laugh at the sheer joy to be had in tormenting a brother. It’s quite difficult being a parent sometimes, especially when you can clearly remember how much fun it was to tease your siblings yourself.  I hope my brother and sister have forgiven me for the fun that I often took at their expense. (I might need to double-check on that.)

We have some things that we usually do on our ‘prayer stair’ most evenings. We often read a bit of the Bible and then talk about it or pray with it, or even draw pictures in response to it. It’s nice but it’s usually pretty tame.

Recently our 9 near old took charge and devised a prayer time involving beanbags and a tall cardboard box. What we had to do, he said, was to attempt to knock over the box with the 3 beanbags while saying what we were sorry for. That part was relatively easy. The next stage, though, was to attempt to throw a beanbag inside of the top of the narrow box while saying things that we wanted to forgive. That was harder in more ways than one.

What I realised, when I searched my memory for 3 things to say, was that the things that I wanted to forgive were from years ago. They weren’t big things but they clearly still had a hook in me. I was surprised myself at what I said.

It made me realise what a good question it was. What do you want to forgive? There wasn’t an ‘ought’ about it. It wasn’t the result of a logical thought process. It was a free and open question, just like the best questions from children are.

What does it take to want to forgive? I think it might be something about where you want to go. Do I really want that grudge hanging around in my subconscious? Do I want to carry my own lack of freedom? Do I want to experience the life that God calls me to? Maybe ‘wanting’ isn’t exactly the same as doing it, but I guess it could be the first step.