My ten-year-old was reading a book about two kids who discover a rundown village in the woods. It is a forgotten neighborhood where two adult siblings still reside, and they strike up a harmless friendship with them for the summer. The catch is they don’t tell their parents. Instead they sneak out each morning and make up stories for their daily activities. At one point, one of the kids gets hurt in the woods and since their parents don’t know about it, they don’t come to his aid. After that riveting climax, the book ends with no one hurt and all parties becoming friends.
I asked my son later if he found a place like that would he tell me? He quickly responded with, “No way! Because then you would totally not let me go.” But, having realized he had laid too many cards down for me to see, he began to back-peddle. “I mean, sure… yeah. I would tell you about it. Of course... definitely, Mom.”
But the truth was already out there hanging in the air.
The path of deceit. It starts young, doesn’t it? And we are all not only capable of it, but fully participating in it. We all have something we are hiding, right? For me, right now, it’s a bag of mini chips ahoy cookies. Now, you have to know something. I don’t normally buy chips ahoy. I prefer homemade cookies to store bought and I bake often. But in all honesty, I try to avoid processed foods. Don’t judge me. I am not a fanatic. We have three different kinds of chips in our pantry right now and had mac and cheese as a side dish last night for dinner. But as a general rule, I try to minimize processed foods when I can.
So, when I saw the cookies at the store, I surprised myself by picking them up. They just looked good and I wanted them! But instead of announcing to the family we had them, I hid them in the back of the shelf where rice resides. No one ever ventures back that far.
But that bag has been nothing but trouble for me. It has highlighted a lot of ugliness in my heart. For example:
Selfishness- I don’t want to share. With four people, three of them males, I knew they would be devoured in one sitting. I wanted to enjoy them when I wanted to enjoy them, without fear of them being gone.
Pride- I definitely eat the healthiest in my family and felt ashamed of tarnishing a reputation I work hard to keep polished. Mom bought chips ahoy?! (And, ps, why in the world am I trying to craft this reputation? That’s another blog for another day.)
Deceit- Obviously, I had to eat when no one was looking. So, it made me resort to being sneaky. But with each bite I knew I was deceiving them. Ha ha! I am eating something you don’t even know about!
Deceit brings out a hideous nature in us. And though selfishness and pride are pretty ugly, I am most disgusted by deceit. Why am I surprised that my son would keep a hidden village secret from me? Who am I fooling if I think I can do things in secret and not pass down that behavior to my children?
And we both know there are issues we are hiding that are much deeper than chips ahoy. But we don’t want to know that much about each other. Or do we?
We have to learn to live in the light. Nothing good happens in the dark. Ever.
I thought about throwing out the rest of the cookies. But then it would still remain a secret. Thus, keeping the deceit alive.
So, tonight, we are all having chips ahoy for dessert.
What are you hiding? Bring it into the light. Don’t let deceit turn you into someone you don’t want to be.
Like this? Post it! Share the encouragement!