Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Child Shall Lead Them

Children make me laugh. I think far to often we are trying to teach them lessons on how to grow up to be good citizens, or are often annoyed at their little oddities that we don't take time to stop and really listen to them or pause to watch them. They are full of wonder. They explore. They create. They are uninhibited. At least until adulthood squelches all of the fun right out of them and they become bitter, grouchy, negative adults like the rest of us. Seriously, they have a lot to teach us.
Like today, for instance, I had a couple of little girls stand by my counter and say, "Mrs. what we can do..." They then proceeded to raise their arm in the air and lick their own armpit. I have to was a feat I myself had never thought to try. It made me laugh out loud.
"Why would you want to do that?" I asked. To which they shrugged and ran off to show some other poor teacher who more than likely told them to stop doing that and not to let them catch them doing it again. Squelch!!
If you really want to know how the world functions, just stop and ask a child. You will be amazed and in awe of the answers you receive. They are full of excitement and honesty. They will ask you how come your glasses are so thick or they'll show you the most creative valentine box you have ever seen. They will guess that a great white shark is as big as their grandpa and that "No, the kid that was in trouble yesterday and was sitting in the principal's office might have looked a lot like them but in actuality it was really their older brother (even though they only have a sister.) They pray prayers that God will please take a vacuum and suck all of the cancer away...or bury it in a hole in the backyard. There eyes light up and twinkle when they bring you a cupcake on their birthday that they helped make. They tell you they are worried about their friend who has a "friend" called Mr. Lefthand who sometimes hits himself. They are eager to please you and they want to go to school even when they are sick because they don't want to ruin their perfect attendance record. They talk and interrupt the classroom because it's reading time, and they struggle at reading. And why wouldn't they struggle when too often they are trying to read stories where the children have names like Portia or Marisol and they can't remember them, let alone pronounce them.
Children are curious and they ask lots of questions and want to tell lots of stories. It's hard for them to sit and listen when they really just want to show you how to lick their armpit or ask you why there is a piece of candy on the teacher's desk and can they have it. Do you realize how difficult it is to be at school all day long when you have a brand new puppy at home waiting for you?
I guess what I'm trying to say is, children are amazing! Talk to them. They have a lot to teach you. to live......and how to love, ...and how to laugh.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Jesus Freak

I looked the word "freak" up in the dictionary. I used to think the term was derogatory, even insulting. If someone called me a freak....I definitely would have been perturbed. A "freak" was something "odd". Now I actually sort of see the word as something positive. Let me explain.
The dictionary definition says,"strikingly unusual person, animal, or plant that appears to be unique or occurs very rarely. Exhibits a strange deviation from nature...a person who has withdrawn from normal, rational behavior and activities to pursue one interest or obsession."
Yup! That describes me...or at least who I want to be now. I used to want to "fit" in. Become part of the crowd. Disappear into the scenery and not stick out like a sore thumb. I used to be satisfied with being called a "Christian" but you know what? That word just doesn't seem to work anymore. We are now asked to check on different forms whether we are Jewish, Muslim, or Christian, like it is a nationality or something. So, anyone not a Jew or Muslim would qualify to check the box, right?? if everyone in the United States is a Christian, not by choice, but by a check box....well, guess I'm going to have to separate myself from "the boys" and become a "man". I want to identify myself with Jesus....not a christ. The word "Christ" could actually describe any sort of a savior...Buddha could be a type of christ...The new age "maitreya" is said to be "The Christ". Guess that means just about anyone could be identified as a "Christ-ian" and sadly...are.
No, I have decided to separate myself from that vague term of "Christian" and I choose to identify myself with Jesus, THE Christ! There is only one Savior...only one way to God, and that is Jesus of Nazareth....God incarnate!
Now, I know the drill... Isn't there many ways to God? Isn't it judgmental to believe Jesus is the only way? How conceited is that? I guess that is why I am a Jesus "Freak". I chose to "deviate" from the path of all inclusiveness and believe "The Holy Bible", God's own word....The TRUTH!
I was thinking how it isn't really all that hard to be a "Christ-ian" in this day and age. But it is really the name of Jesus that stirs up and causes all of the controversy. There is power in the name of Jesus...and believe me, if you start becoming a "Jesus Freak" you will probably begin to stir up a lot of heated discussions.
I'm starting to wish I was a pastor....and I'll tell you why. People know where you stand! They expect you to be all bibly (is that a word?), they are not shocked if you "talk the talk and walk the walk". After all, you should, right? They aren't quite as offended to hear the name Jesus in normal conversations...after all, that is your job as a pastor. But, here is my can I not talk about the one thing that is my passion to everyone I come in contact with. If you love talk about it. If you love talk about it. Well, guess I LOVE JESUS!! And I'm falling more and more in love with Him everyday! That's why I'm warning everyone....JESUS IS MY PASSION! I can't contain it any longer! I want to scream it from the rooftops.
So, I'm choosing to become a "Jesus Freak". Freaks are usually rejected, and I imagine I will be, too. But now, I won't consider it such a bad thing.
Let me challenge you. Freaks are radical! They withdraw from the normal and rational behavior and activities to pursue their obsession. Maybe, you should make Jesus the object of your obsession and join me...what would people do if they labeled you a Jesus Freak!