I have some of the most amazing friends. They astound me with their deep faith and generosity. God has been so good to me by placing them in my life and I have learned so much from their examples.
Case in point, I was discussing siblings with one of my dear friends. She grew up with four older brothers and one older sister. She related she used to clean her brothers' rooms when she was growing up. I'm sure my mouth dropped as I listened.
"Why in the world would you do such a thing?" I laughed, incredulously.
"I liked to see them happy." She continued, "When I cleaned for them I could see how happy it made them and it made me happy."
Uh. Wow. That's a rather radical way of looking at it, I thought. But in all honesty, she really has something there. Serving others is such a wonderful way of serving God. When we make others happy it naturally follows we would be made happy as well.
So, I put her idea to work. The weather here was absolutely gorgeous here yesterday and Ben and Leo were playing outside. Leo kept coming to me to tattle on Ben.
"He's not being nice to me." He would complain.
He wanted to sit in his Little Tyke's Car and Ben would not let him. The seat was wet and Ben thought I would not Leo's bottom to get wet. While I could appreciate his thinking of what my reaction to a wet bum may have been, he certainly was not problem solving all that effectively.
"Get a towel and wipe down the seat." I told him.
He gave me that look of reluctance we so often see in our children when they really don't want to have to put forth a little bit of effort. Ha! I'm sure I make that look myself. Having to do even just a tiny bit of extra work for someone else is hard for many of us, no?
"Think about how happy that would make him, Ben." I said, "Don't you like to see him happy?"
I could see the wheels turning as Ben mulled over this idea. Yes, of course he'd like to see his little brother happy. He slowly moved to grab the towel. He dragged his feet and behaved as if it were a difficulty to help his baby brother, but I could see the seed was planted. He could really see the logic in the idea--if Leo is happy, most everyone else is happy, too.
Isn't there an idiom which claims, "Happy siblings, happy life"?