Some Discernment

A few days ago, Ana came to me with tears in her eyes.

“I just destroyed my city on Minecraft,” she said in a strained voice.  “It was so beautiful, but it’s gone now.  And I want you to take Minecraft off my Kindle.”
I know very little about Minecraft (Wes is the one who plays this alongside the girls), but I know enough to know that whatever gets destroyed can always be rebuilt… unless the game is gone from the Kindle.
“If I do that,” I said, “you can’t rebuild it.”
“I know,” she said.
“Don’t you want to rebuild it, though?”
She shook her head, then offered just about the most profound wisdom I’ve ever heard all week…
“It’s all I can think about,” she said softly, with a little tremble in her voice.  “Minecraft is all I can think about.  So, I need you to make it go away for me.”
We don’t let the girls play on their Kindles for hours on end.  We have time limits on their apps and monitor their content.  But even then, some time spent on something that wasn’t bad was too much, too consuming, and too addictive for Ana, by her own admission.
So, after she said this, I gave her a hug, told her that I was proud of her, and took the game off her Kindle.  And with it gone, she sat down with me, and we talked about discernment, about how we can all get caught up in things that can take too much of our attention and energy, and about how wonderful it is that she’s already learning how to discern these things about herself.
I asked her if I could share this story with other people, and she asked why I would want to.  When I told her that even grownups (especially grownups!) have a hard time being discerning about their time and about the things that can distract us, she was amazed.  She gave her permission for me to share this because “this might help other people, too.”
No kidding.  It’s already helped me, so if that’s as far as it goes, mission accomplished.  Thank you, Ana.
I’m challenged to look at how I spend my time and how I’m able (or unable, oftentimes) to discern what’s good for me and what might just end up consuming me.  I’m challenged to remember my priorities and not to let secondary things get in the way.  I’m encouraged to see how freeing discernment is for my eight year old and to know that making a good choice can lead to better choices.

Hope you’re likewise challenged and encouraged… 

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