As I sat in the school, I couldn’t work out why everyone was looking in longingly in my direction, but then everything became clear as I remembered that it looked like I was holding a box of chocolates.
When I opened the box in the school assembly a short time later the children didn’t appear to be disappointed that there weren’t chocolates inside.
These poppers are designed to have a foam ball inserted into their nose (I know it sounds painful but they are just toys you know!) Then, as you squeeze the tummy (theirs, not mine silly) the ball shoots (or pops I suppose) out. In case you are interested, I have included a video at the end of this post so you can see what it looks like when a pig popper pops.
The children thought they wanted chocolate (don’t they always!), but they really enjoyed the game.
What are we looking longingly at? What do we think that we need? Whatever we think it is, is it really only that thing or can we learn to be content with what we have or with something different?
11For I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.(Philippians 4)
These words of Paul from the Bible remind us of the value and importance of contentment. There is nothing wrong with thinking we would like something that we don’t have, but when the desire for it takes root then we lose our contentment.
It is so sad if we lose our ability to enjoy what we have by focusing only on what we do not have.
The point of the assembly was about trying your hardest. I had taken a board with some holes in and I challenged the children to shoot balls through the small holes. The poppers are a lot of fun, but they are not very accurate and so I was asking the children to do something that had a real element of luck to it. I demonstrated this by having a go myself, I explained how hard it was to get the ball through the hole and then I fired to illustrated only to watch the ball fly through the hole
The point of the assembly was to give our best, to try our hardest in life. Sometimes we will achieve our targets and other times we won’t, but what is the most important is to keep trying and stretching ourselves and to become content with who we are and what we are good at.
Are you content with who you are?
Do you look longingly at other people and wish you were them?
How can we become comfortable being who we are? I think that one of the keys is to embrace and to celebrate who we are and what we are good at, rather than longing for the ability to do things that are definitely beyond us.
However, there is a difficult balance to be achieved, because we can all better ourselves and improve at things.
I once got 3% in an art exam (and I was trying!). I have fairly poor fine motor skills which mean that I can’t write or draw very well and this means that in a drawing competition I know that I am not going to do very well. However I have come to learn that I am actually creative in all kinds of ways (just not with a pen and paper).
You see, in accepting ways that I am not artistic with a pen and paper, I have actually been set free to become more creative. You can read more about this in something else I have written about a home made elephant.
My prayer is that I would become more comfortable with who I am each day but that God would continue to work in my life so that I will grow and change more fully into the person who he made me to be.
I hope this is your prayer as well?