Friday, December 19, 2008
Spinning in Circles
Greetings, fellow waiters! Hope this holiday season is finding you full of joy. We've been enjoying our share of Christmas celebrations. Our church has always done a children's nativity where the children act out the story of Christmas. This is my 9th Christmas at this church and ever since my first Christmas there, I couldn't wait to have a child old enough to be a "sheep" in the nativity.
Long before we even thought of having children (we had just gotten engaged that first Christmas), I loved the sheep. The sheep are 4 and 5 year olds who dress in sweatsuits turned inside-out. They enter from the back of the church and crawl down the aisle on their hands and knees "BAAing" with all their might. It makes me teary-eyed every year. The older children are shepherds and try their best to herd the unruly sheep. It's a mess every year, but such a delight!
This year, my daughter was finally old enough to be a sheep! I was so excited. She, however, was not. She did not want to be a sheep. I tried everything to convince her. I told her how sad Mommy would be if she didn't do it. I told her how much fun it would be. I pointed out other kids she knew who would be sheep, too. Finally, I gave up and told her Santa was still watching and he wanted her to be a sheep. (hangs head in shame). Parenting is not easy, you know.
The big day arrives and I have my camera in hand hanging out of my pew to capture the big moment. For a second, I think she may have "baacked out" of this, but there she is....last sheep in the flock. She's straggling behind, but she's moving. She finally gets up to the stage where they have practiced how they are going to sit and face baby Jesus. Focus on baby Jesus, the director has told them over and over.
I notice that my precious sheep is the only one without ears. This does not surprise me. I'm just glad she made it down the aisle. However, sitting still isn't her thing, really. So, she stays on her bottom, but instead of focusing on Jesus she spins in circles. Constant motion the entire time. At one point, she looks like she is going to jump off the stage, but I give her the "Mommy face" and a strong head nod, "no" and she goes back to spinning.
Later, I see that I failed to capture her coming down the aisle. I was so busy trying to find her and wave to her, I missed her completely. I did get a nice shot of the back of her head.
After I tell this story a few times, it occurs to me that once again, God is teaching me through my child. I know all too well that I am called to focus on Jesus, too. God knows all too well, that usually I can be found spinning in circles, totally distracted and looking like I may jump off, too! How many times does he gently shake his head, "no" and ask me to be still?
It's been a disappointing year around here. There were several big things that God said, "No, not yet, maybe later" to this year. It's frustrating. We get the message that he would like us to sit still. As we finish out the year, I am going to do my best to focus on Jesus. I'm thinking of making this blog more of a waiting devotional next year. Let me know if you like that idea.
Merry Christmas from our family to yours. May 2009 bring us abundant joy!
Psalm 23:1 "The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want."
Psalm 37:7 "Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him..."