I have discerned that one of the buzz-words in behavioral training is “redirection”. It’s the idea that instead of simply scolding and saying “NO”, which certainly has its place (I’m old school), it is important to add a positive element to the situation by redirecting the child’s focus to a more, shall we say, profitable activity.
“NO, you must not put the Tinker Toy into the wall socket; how about I help you build a bridge?”
“NO, your baby brother would not prefer eating his applesauce over your ice cream made of Lego blocks.”
“NO, we must not cut the feet off your sister’s Barbie doll and glue her ankles onto the snow skis you just made; let’s fashion something else to fit her orthopedically challenged posture instead.” (Hmmmm…wonder where THAT one came from??)
God, our perfectly loving Father, must also have something similar in mind. Jesus has just finished His multiple appearances to His disciples (and many others) during His forty-day sojourn after the Resurrection. Now it’s time to peel off so that the Holy Spirit could make His entrance.
The last meeting with them is quite poignant. In their parting conversation, the disciples had been asking Jesus if now was time the kingdom of Israel would be restored. The short answer was (guess what) “NO”, with a new commission to go and make disciples. Evidently, that wasn’t quite enough to get them moving…
“As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. ‘Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!’”
Their beloved Lord was now “gone”, but not really, and certainly not for good. Nevertheless, here is a new threshold, unfamiliar territory, and right then it was easier to stare longingly into the past than to look expectantly toward the future. A little redirection was in order. These greenhorn apostles needed a kick in the pants, so to speak, to get moving.
Sometimes, so do we…
Acts 1:10,11 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.