Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sesame Street wisdom?

I admit that I'm not opposed to my toddler watching a bit of TV every now and then.

Okay, maybe almost every day.

You see, since summer vacation started, Colton and I have started a new rhythm. We generally wake up between 8 and 9, get breakfast together, I make coffee, and then we snuggle up on the couch to watch a recorded episode of "Sesame Street" together. Generally we do not watch the entire episode. After all, if it's a segment of the show that does not have Elmo in it, Colton isn't interested. Generally we will watch the opening segment if Elmo is in it, but we usually fast forward through "Abby's Flying Fairy School" and Bert and Ernie's segment. No Elmo = No Dice.

However, we regularly watch "Elmo's World" together. It's so pathetic that I can sing all of the words to the intro, "Elmo's Song", "Elmo's Ducks", and "I'm Elmo and I Know It". Colton just loves that little red monster. I don't get it, but at least he isn't into Spongebob. As a matter of fact, one of my goals as a mother is to make sure that my son does not even know who Spongebob is.

Anyway, I digress. I love this time with my son, watching the high-pitched red monster and his goldfish Dorothy on the screen. I get to smell my boy's hair as he sits on my lap, sip coffee, and point out the shapes, numbers, colors, and objects on the screen. If my son is going to watch any TV at all, it's going to be interactive - NOT a babysitter. If you're not familiar with "Elmo's World", it is based around the premise that Dorothy and Elmo want to find out more about a particular subject - how to get dressed, how to take care of pets, what are fish like, how to play drums, etc. One of the first things that they will do is consult their friend Mr. Noodle, who lives behind a curtain in Elmo's World.

Mr. Noodle, Elmo's friend and consultant

I cringe every time Mr. Noodle comes on the screen. Mr. Noodle is kind of a dunce. Okay, not kind of. He's a MAJOR dunce. If Elmo asks Mr. Noodle how to walk like a monkey, Mr. Noodle will misunderstand him and try to walk like a chicken.  It's just ridiculous.  I'm sure that preschoolers love it, as Mr. Noodle is definitely very silly.  Eventually the off-screen voices of four-year-olds teach Mr. Noodle how to do the correct action, and all is well.  Colton thinks that Mr. Noodle is very funny.

Now, I'm not knocking on Mr. Noodle.  He serves his purpose in teaching preschoolers about the right way and wrong way to do a particular action.  I just think that Elmo and Dorothy should have learned by now that Mr. Elmo is probably not the best person to consult when they have serious questions such as how to tie shoelaces.  This is crucial business, people.  Get a clue! :)

But you see, I'm not so different from Elmo and Dorothy, as I am not always known for seeking the wisest of counsel when I am faced with a problem.

Proverbs 3: 1-8
New International Version (NIV)

1 My son, do not forget my teaching, 
    but keep my commands in your heart,
2 for they will prolong your life many years 
    and bring you peace and prosperity.
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
    bind them around your neck,
    write them on the tablet of your heart. 
4 Then you will win favor and a good name
    in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes
    fear the Lord and shun evil. 
8 This will bring health to your body 
    and nourishment to your bones.

James 1:1-8
New International Version (NIV)

1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

Have you ever had a problem that you tried to fix on your own?  I think we all have been guilty of this at some point.  My husband says that I am possibly the most fiercely independent person that he's ever met, with a thick skull to boot.  I regularly reject wisdom and guidance from people that are probably a lot more attuned to God's wisdom than I am because I am very wise in my own eyes.  I regularly reject the notion of asking for God to give me wisdom and guidance because I have it all under control (ha, ha, ha).  I would rather rely on the opinions of the Mr. Noodles of this world sometimes than God's wisdom and am often guilty of running to my own wisdom or Mr. Noodle's wisdom first (figuratively, not literally).

Did you notice what God's word says about asking for wisdom or relying on the Lord's understanding?

  • "This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones."
  • "...when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind."
I have had many valleys and mountaintops during my Christian walk, and the valleys have gotten deeper and the mountaintops have become higher since Ryan was diagnosed with cancer.  As I look back on the eleven and a half years that I have been walking with Christ (or periodically running away from Him, too), I can unequivocally ascertain that the mountaintops have been when I was not wise in my own eyes, but humble and broken before the Lord, not doubting a word He says.  The valleys have been their deepest when I have been trying far too hard to keep control over a situation, and shunned God's wisdom.  Trust me, the mountaintops are much better.  I understand what King Solomon means when he says it brings health to our bodies, to lean on God's understanding.  When I'm truly walking in tandem with the Lord, I literally feel better - God's grace washing over me has an emotional and physiological effect on my well-being.  I am more peaceful.  I sleep better.  I have better relationships with the others around me.

What would it look like if we, as the collective body of Christ, had a renewal of our desire to seek the Lord above all else?  What would it look like if we shunned the wisdom of Mr. Noodle, or the wisdom of our own selves?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i know this has nothing to do with your blog... but i would like to let you guys know that when i open up your page and read all the brillant stories, (1) i am blown awayandthankful for the life god has given me!!!, and unfortunite (2) i see a bunch of pop up's of extremly inappropriate pictures and ad's!!!!!!!!!!! not sure if you canstop this but... thought you would like to know!