How are you spending this summer? How do you deal with seemingly constant interruptions by your family without those structured routines during the school year?
I hate to admit, but as a mom I often felt frustrated when my plans were interrupted. With that kind of mindset, I could not enjoy my precious, cute and adorable little boy. Thank God that I have learned how Jesus Christ looks at children differently against popular wisdom.
"Then they also brought infants to Him that He might touch them; but when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to Him and said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it." (Luke 18:15-17)
This summer, whenever you are disrupted and feel frustrated that you cannot focus on your most important things to do, consider some other ways to live.
Wisdom comes to us from many sources—sometimes from the mouths of babes, at other times from the teachings of ancient philosophers. A treasury of simple but wise sayings that suggest guidelines for living were given to the world by A. A. Milne, the London playwright who wrote the charming tale of Winnie-the-Pooh in 1926, and several more books on "Pooh Bear" to follow.
Although originally written as stories to read to his young son, Christopher Robin, Milne's series on Winnie and his friends who lived in the forest offer enlightenment for adults—especially in this hectic, modern world in which we live.
Each character's personality reflects for the reader a unique view of the world: Owl through his quest for knowledge. Eyeore as an unrelenting pessimist. We learn about bravery from Piglet and the need to believe in ourselves from Tigger. Winnie the Pooh, as described by Milne, might be a bear with "very little brain" but he has an abundance of wisdom and spouts insightful truths. Here are some:
On believing in yourself:
"Promise me you'll always Remember: You're BRAVER than you believe; And STRONGER than you seem; And SMARTER than you think."
Self-esteem is developed by knowing and "remembering" that you are greater than the thoughts and beliefs that try to convince you that you cannot be and do what you wish. I am grateful to have a mom who told me similar words when I was a little girl. Although my Mom had never read Winnie-the-Pooh nor heard the term "Self-esteem," she succeeded in building me up even in a discriminatory culture.
But self-esteem and achievements (even attaining the American dream) did not take away all my insecurity. When something went wrong, I still felt vulnerable and worried that I was not good enough. Something was missing in my life.
Eventually I found my Self-Worth knowing that I was created in the image of God. With my authentic identity as a Christian, I can live differently because I am a New Creation! Whenever I follow the Holy Spirit, and not the desire of the flesh, then at that moment, I am living as an esteemed child of God. (Galatians 5:16-24; Romans 8:11-17) How about you?
On living in the moment:
"What day is it?"
"It's today," squeaked Piglet.
"My favorite day,'" said Pooh.
How would it be if you lived your life as if "today" is—or at least could be—the best day of all, living each and every day as if it was your favorite day?
Try starting each day with the thought, "This is going to be my best day ever." Or going to a meeting with the thought, "This will be a wonderful, harmonious meeting." Or reminding yourself the basis of thinking differently.
"The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord's doing; It is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118:22-24)
On taking time:
"Don't underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear and not bothering."
In these hectic times, take time to relax and do Nothing with awareness. You might want to notice who and how you are right now, stare at a candle flame, listen to music... and pray, "So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." (Psalm 90:12)
"How do you spell 'love'?" asks Piglet. Pooh responds, "You don't spell it. You feel it." And you liveit. You live it through giving your time and attention to the people and activities that are important to you. Knowing "God is love" (1 John 4:8), who or what have you been neglecting?
"It's more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like 'What about lunch'?"
Have lunch with someone you care about this week. Giving time to our friendships, to conversation and laughter, nourishes us and helps keep our lives in balance.
Most important of all, remain in fellowship with the Father and the Son. (1 John 1:3-4)
"Rivers know this: There is no hurry. We shall get there some day."
Practice staying present with whatever is flowing through your life on a daily, moment by moment basis. Enjoy being where you ARE while waiting for the Lord. (Isaiah 40:30-31)
Author's content used with permission, © Claire Communications