Thursday, August 21, 2008

Insight Gained From Tying Shoes

Lately, Sadia has been eagerly finding new ways to stretch her limits. She's only three years old, yet she learned to tie her shoes a couple of days ago. Since then, she's been finding every opportunity to practice this new found skill. Sifting through the house, she seeks to tie everything from belts to dental floss. I'm so excited about her achievement. What's more exciting is watching her attitude blossom. She can be quite irascible at times. However, watch as she overcomes her initial frustration about failing to bring the "bunny through the hole". She triumphs the setback beginning with an inspired proclamation to "try, try, again".

I'd like to think that she gets her resilience from me. However, I know better. I don't always face new challenges with optimism. This experience has been a great reminder to me. When faced with a challenge, often the biggest obstacle to overcome is produced from the negative thoughts I sometimes entertain. Sometimes, I meet problems with an "I can't do it" attitude. Perhaps when faced with obstacles, I've already surmised that God has made the task too hard, or maybe the size of the challenge overshadows my impending victory. Whatever the rationale, essentially negative thoughts become the greater obstacle.

Remember when Joshua led the children of Israel to the Promised Land? Just as they were about to receive their blessing from God, they encountered an impenetrable wall; a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. I'm sure many felt like giving up. Some probably felt misled by Moses' and Joshua's leadership. Others may have felt that God was incapable of giving them the victory. These were the same attitudes which led to their ancestors 40 year dessert wandering.

The Israelites who had came out of bondage in Egypt, could not overcome their "slave mentality". "Slave mentality" results from years of oppression, from constantly living under the boot heel of an oppressive master. For this reason, they learned to thrive under persecution-- never rising above the status quo. And, while they were no longer subjected to Egyptian servitude, their oppressor had taken on a new identity. Tyrant, thy name is Abdication!

All that Israel knew was that they were promised the land of Canaan. They thought that they would just waltz right in to possess it. However, the moment they faced a challenge, they fell back on the thoughts that kept them bound in Egypt. They wanted God's blessings, yet cloaked in defeat they were not suited to receive them. The invisible shackles of "We can't" robbed them of a great blessing.

What about you? What challenges have you faced lately? Are you intimidated by the idea of going back to school? Changing careers? Planting a church? Reviving your marriage? Overcoming debt? Starting a new ministry? Draw strength from the insights gain through learning to tie your shoes. Through Christ, you can do it! Don't spend your life fighting in the desert. Don't think that silent submission is an acceptable response. You can't afford to be silent. The lives of those who come after you depend on your victory. Besides, your children will encounter the same struggle, and/or the same attitude. So, go ahead and grab those obstacles by the laces, and walk in your victory. In this way, your children will learn to fight in the face of adversity, and possible take their victories to even higher levels.


Alli said...

Wonderful insight, Dionne!

And Sadia has incredible fine motor skills for a three year old! I'm impressed!

Jewels said...

Dionne thank you so much for your post. It was just what I needed to read today. I took away that I need to approach life with a can do attitude. my attitude affects how I deal with stress and the things that I allow to cause me stress. All will get done but not all has to be done today. Be optimistic!

woosterweester said...

Great post! The part about Joshua and facing the wall right before the blessing God really used to speak to me prophetically about where I've been...on the verge of victory. Thanks for encouraging me to press on. It's always worth it!!!:)

woosterweester said...

Oh, and I think with an attitude like that, Sadia should be president someday. Actually, I'd probably vote for her in 2008.:)

Sarah said...

Okay, seriously, can you just make some CDs of your mini-sermons? Because then I could listen to them all day, in the house & in the car.

You kick my butt.

Thank you. Thank you.

Robin H said...

How did you just watch & film this? I just wanted to reach through the screen and help her when she started over! But I would have missed the beauty of observing the development of not only fine motor skills, but analyzing which side of the brain she uses when faced with a new learning experience. Children are such a cool gift from God! And Sadia is adorable!


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