What can I say, I learn from the strangest things! You'll have to excuse me as I spend a large chunk of my time as the lone adult in an over-crowded room filled with seven and eight year olds. What do you expect? I live in a very strange world.
Today we were preparing to make penguins. Paper penguins not real ones! We're currently studying penguins and we incorporate that theme into our reading block. We cut out penguin shapes out of black paper. The kids used white hole reinforcers for the eyes and cut beaks and feet out of construction paper. Then they cut out white ovals for their tummies. The kids were supposed to write five facts about penguins on the tummies. Quit snickering! They're cute penguins! I'll have to take a picture of a few of them next week and post it.
In preparation for this, we made a list on some chart paper entitled "Facts About Penguins". As a class we came up with ten facts and then children could either use facts from the list or other facts from the penguin books they'd read over the past week.
Everyone had something to say of course, even if what they had to say had absolutely nothing to do with penguins. One very eager student blurted out a fact that prompted this blog in the first place. We had watched a movie about penguins in Antarctica earlier this week. Recalling that movie, this student said:
Penguins have to stick together to stay warm. They'll die if they stick together. I paused for a moment as I recalled the scene. The penguins were all crowded together in a circle with their faces toward the center much like Minnesota school children on a blustery cold winter day. I've done that myself. After awhile, the penguins in the center of the circle, move to the outside of the circle thus allowing all of the penguins to have a chance to stand in the center, protected from the elements by everyone else.
Oh, if only we as Christians would consistently do that with one another! We may be quick to run to a brother or sister's side for a brief moment but are we willing to stand beside them for the long haul? Yes, God does have us cross paths with individuals just for a particular moment in time... sometimes. However, far too often we act like it's always God's plan for us to swoop in and out of each others lives.
God is all about relationships. He really is. Do you realize what Jesus really prayed about in the Garden of Gethsemene? Yes, He did pray for God's will to be done even though it was the bitterest of cups. However, we tend to forget He prayed for us. He prayed that we might be one as He and the Father are one. Wow! Jesus wants us to be in relationship with one another in the same way the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit are in relationship with one another.
You know, the more I think about this, the more I'm realizing that we're not even beginning to scratch the surface on this one. Impossible? Absolutely! Except... except with God all things are possible therefore...
Father-God, may all of your princes and princesses become one with one another and understand that we really do need one another! That's the way you designed things to be.