Sunday, March 31, 2013

He Has Risen!

Thank you Lord for sending your son to love us.
Thank you Lord that you showed us that you conquered death. There is nothing too big for you. There is no situation that you can not handle.
Thank you that after you rose from the grave you took the time to go to the disciples. You worked with Thomas in his doubt. You allowed him to touch your scares. You worked with Peter in his failure. You affirmed and reinstated him as a leader. You cared about your disciples and spent time with them.
Thank you Lord that you did nothing to deserve the suffering that you endured but you did it anyway so that we might have life and be free.
Thank you Lord that you are always true to your promises. You will never leave us.
Thank you that you died for the poorest and the wealthiest  the most and the least beautiful, the most and the least powerful, the Mother Theresas and the Adam Lanzas, the outcast and the popular, the babies and the elderly, those who love you and those who don't .

Jesus came to love
Suffer, die, rise, cook breakfast
Victory is won!

Now some Easter deviled egg fun. Feels wrong to call them deviled eggs on Easter.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Roller Skating Lesson from the Kids

This spring break I have been working Spring Camp for the after school program that I work for. We took the kids today on a field trip to a roller skating rink. Sounds amazing for our older kids but a disaster for the younger ones. When they first all put on their skates and headed down for the rink, I feared for their lives. Crash, boom, thump!! Piles of children falling all over the rink. "This is not going to end well," I thought. I was helping a few of the younger ones just make it to the wall. I had to take them one by one because they were afraid to hold the wall with even one hand. I didn't even put on any skates myself. I can skate ok, however I can not promise a child that I will not let them fall if I had skates on myself.

  It was interesting to see the different gender dynamics at play here. The boys find any way to get themselves down to the rink, crawling, falling several times without a fear or hesitation. The girls cling to me for dear life, fearing even the slightest fall. I wasn't able to convince all the young one to try it, a few were too scared to venture out. There was one little kindergarten girl who was very brave and took some daring risks to venture off on her own. As I was helping some of the other kids I heard my name called and found the brave little girl crying in her sister's arms. She had fallen and bumped her head. I helped her off the rink and told her to take a break and then she could go out again. She was adamant that that was the end of the skating for her. After a little while I checked on her to see if she wanted to go out again. She seemed like she did, so I helped her out onto the wall. She practiced and became much more confident. At one point exclaimed to me, "I'm doing it!" as she skated by.

As proud as I was of these young girls for getting out there and trying their best, I was even more impressed with some of the boys. There was one first grader who had 2 older siblings on the field trip, so I knew he was pretty tough in keeping up with them. He would fall literally every minute. And when he would fall, he would fall hard. I watched him continually get back up and I could see he was in pain. But he pushed on. At one point he fell and tears started to flow. His body was taking a beating from all the falls. I went over to him and asked him if he wanted to take a break and through his tears he just shook his head no. He got up, skated on and quickly fell again 

I realized today how much I really respect this first grade kid. He was determined no matter what to keep skating, no matter how badly it hurt. I wish that I had more of that mentality in the things God tries to teach me. I wish that in the midst of failure, things being hard and painful, I would have the perseverance like this child to just continue on. I am really a baby when it comes to fasting. I hate it, it's probably one of my least favorite spiritual disciples. The first time I did 2 meals this year, it was horrible. I was absolutely miserable and I never wanted to fast again. But as in learning how to skate, you have to fall many times. You can't expect to go out and just skate around the rink without falling.  Although I still hate it, the times I have done it after that first time have not been as painful. I know there is more joy God has for me if I keep getting up and learn the joy of fasting. I wish I took risks in my faith like these boys at the rink, not a afraid or ashamed of falling. Knowing that the joy of skating is worth the pain and falls.

Its a very common lesson that is taught, "When you fall, get back up and try again." But when you see it tangibly lived out in kids, it sinks into a deeper level.