Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fluttering Around The Room

Anna has this adorable discipline system in her kindergarten class.  There are several types of small, plastic insets and animals in a tub near the chalk board.  When a child does something that is being disruptive to the class or the teacher, the teacher simple will say, "Anna, go put a turtle in your pocket."

Each animal symbolizes the behavior.  So, a turtle means the child was "slow to follow directions" and a bee means the child was "talking to much" (a busy bee).  An octopus means "hitting others" and a ladybug means "bugging others."  At the end of the day, the teacher asks each child to empty his/her pockets and they mark down which animal they have on a chart that comes home each day. 

My favorite is the butterfly.  That means "fluttering around the room".  I don't think Anna has ever received the butterfly (in the beginning of the school year, she came home with a turtle every day for weeks!)  And as the year has progressed, we see more and more bees coming home. 

If I were being observed and told to put something in my pocket, it would surely be a butterfly.

I am fluttering about my life.

Or, so it seems at times.

I tend to flutter about from one thing to the next, like a butterfly does as she flutters from flower to flower.  I am just like that.  I find the flowers and I flutter about thinking, 'Oh, this pink one is divine!  I must sit here for a while.  Oh?  What's that?  A purple flower!  Oh, I love that one!  Let me go sit there for a while.  But wait, look at that lovely white flower...ooooo...I want to go over there!"

The flowers are all pretty.  They are all good.  And while they are all flowers, they are a bit different.  And my butterfly-self wants to check out each and every one!

So is my life. 

Or, so it seams at times.

I have discovered I have a central theme to my life:  children.  And I have fluttered about with many things having to do with children:  having them, home schooling them, coaching them, adopting them, advocating for them.  You name it...and I have probably done it when it comes to children.  And in my mind...I am constantly looking for that next beautiful flower to land on.

I am guilty of not having perseverance. 

But, I am attempting to change that.  I am currently re-reading Bl**dlines by J*hn P!per.  And as I re-read a certain chapter (that didn't hit me the first time I read it!), it was as if God was speaking through a megaphone in my ear. 

" more like William Wilberforce."

Ha!  I think I even laughed out loud as I was sitting on my front porch reading. 

"God?  You can't be serious!  All I know about that man is he played a crucial part in ending the English slave trade! You can't be serious!"

Keep reading.

What God was telling me was to start persevering in my CAUSE.

First and foremost, my CAUSE is the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ.  There is NO OTHER WAY.  The gospel changes everything (as I hear each and every Sunday!).  When I wrote about my heart breaking yesterday, I think it is because I see how so many people have not TRULY embraced, or maybe even HEARD, the gospel of Jesus Christ in our own backyards.  So many hurting people who have not known that life-transforming power of good news. cause is to let my life be CONTROLLED by the Gospel.  I can't be controlled by success or comfort or pride or hate or greed - I will be a slave to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

My good friend P!per (I call him that because I read all his books and listen to all his sermons, so he seems like a friend to me now), writes this, "The Christian life means to get up in the morning and go to bed at night dreaming not about how to advance my comforts but how to advance some God-centered cause....we mean raising up a people who don't spend themselves day and night pursuing self-preservation and self-exaltation and self-recreation, but who pursue something bigger and greater than themselves.."

And then, he asks, "What is the great cause you are living for?"  And I heard God say, "Be committed to the cause I have led you to.  Stop fluttering around the room."

I have many conversations with people about my deep desire to move overseas and be a missionary.  Sometimes I forget that I have been asked to be a missionary here.  I will never forget walking around Wauwatosa one sunny afternoon, praying for my neighborhood, when God clearly said "Serve me here."  I was disappointed.  I want to sever THERE not HERE.

God moved us to South Carolina.  And God said, "Serve me here."  And too many times I still say "I want to serve THERE."

It is time to stop fluttering around the room and be committed to the cause of serving the poor and the drug addicted and the jailed women in the upstate who need help with their children.  It is time to stop looking THERE and focus on HERE.  It is time to stop looking for the next beautiful flower and be doing everything I can on the flower I have landed upon. 

It is time. 


ESolgos said...

Awesome post! I LOVE Anna's teacher's method- so cute and I'm sure effective!

Fiveboys said...

Traci - Been reading your blog for a while now. And just wanted to say YES YES YES!!!!! Thank you for the reminder that we need to serve RIGHT WHERE WE ARE.

Traci Weldie said...

Thanks you Fiveboys!!