Sunday Reflection: Wandering
As a room mother for my children’s school events, I was in charge of other children as well as my own. On the bus trip back, from a sixth grade field trip to our state capital, the teacher walked back to me on the moving bus and said, “You won’t mind if I trade (insert my son’s name) for (insert other child’s name) would you? He won’t behave for Mrs. (insert other room mother’s name). She's on her last nerve and I know he’ll behave for you.”
So I traded my son, like a baseball player, for the (misbehaver) child, and that child came to sit beside me for the remainder of the ride home. Now I had both behavioral challenges from the class—one sitting next to me and the other student sitting in front of me. The teacher was correct in that I had no problems from the misbehaver, except for the time he thumped another kid’s head in front of him. I told him to cut it out, he did and we got along fine.
But I had my own issues that day--with my own son. He ’d wandered off more than once—chasing girls. I had to hunt him down and return him to my flock.
The responsibility of keeping early adolescent children filled with brand new, intense hormones corralled was a challenge. My eyes constantly roamed for problems. My worry meter measured high numbers and was always working. I often wondered why I volunteered as a room mom, but at the end of the day, I had my answers. The children were precious and worthwhile, they appreciated me and the teacher and parents trusted my skills.
This always reminded me of the dedication of a shepherd—tending sheep and of God’s dedication to his children, who are a mixture of good and bad.
“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:12-14 (NIV)
At the end of the day, it’s our decision to believe or not in God’s absolute love and grace. He is the ultimate Father, our caretaker, who knows what is best for his children even when we wander and do wrong.