|image credit: http://style-bard-shoes.blogspot.com|
Texting has kind of become our in-house intercom system, to tell you the truth.
Wow! So many ways to answer this one.... I mean everybody's doing it. I've even seen wedding photos with the bride wearing Converse under her gorgeous gown. I have an opinion on that, but I'll keep it to myself....for now.
So hmm....how to answer...."Heck no!" "Oh yes, and I'll wear mine too," "Whatever you want, dear. The choice is yours," "If you have to ask, I think you already know the answer...." The list could go on and on.
As I contemplated something as simple as what shoes to wear to church, my wheels started turning, and some much deeper lessons entered my mind.....
First, I knew that by answering this question for this child, I was taking away his/her right to choose and the opportunity to learn from the experience. I'm learning, however, that sometimes my children think I'm setting them up--as if there IS a right response, but I'm waiting for them to figure it out. This is not the case, and I'm trying to teach them that really, I want them to learn from whatever choices they make.
I mean, really, it's a pair of shoes. Who cares? Would I wear them to church? No, but that's me. If it were something life threatening, then yah, I'd have a really strong opinion. For this one, this kid has to choose.
Second, I got to thinking about why I wouldn't wear the shoes to church. I mean, like I said, they're just shoes. So, here's what I came up with....
Does everything matter in sacrament meeting? I mean, if EVERYTHING that happens in sacrament meeting is to bring the Spirit, then does what I wear and do in that meeting have that effect too? If I were to wear the shoes, would I cause others to be so distracted by my footwear that they couldn't pay attention to other things, or even worse than that, would I be so distracted by the fact that maybe I'd made the wrong choice for my feet that day that I wouldn't be able to pay attention and learn something.
So, my response to this child:
"Umm...what do you think? Is it your Sunday best? Will your attire help bring the Spirit to the meeting?"
I really did want this child to ponder the question and answer it for him/herself. There is no right or wrong. I mean, no one told me. I had to make that decision on my own. I guess I felt like I owed that to this chid as well. Would I be disappointed if the child wore the shoes? No. There just comes a point where each of us has to decide for ourselves, right? Maybe this was this child's chance.
So, although this all started with a simple question about some cool, red kicks, what it all boiled down to was there are little things in life that effect my ability to not be distracted. More than anything else in this world, the Spirit is what I want. I want it with me all the time--whenever possible. It's my link to God. It's my compass in a world where I'm pretty lost. I can choose to keep it with me through simple choices I make, or I can drive it away. Why on earth would I want to do something that would make it leave me?
|image credit: ecobridge.wordpress.com|
The last lesson I learned by pondering on the red Converse was more based on what it made me think about sacrament meeting and its purpose. It's the fact that that's the place where I get in contact for the week. It's the only way to upward spiral and stop erosion in my life. It is the one thing I have that pulls me in the opposite direction from this world and where it's going, and it's up to me to seek for it. I'm so glad to know that there is a power to stop the downward progression in life.
Yes, they were just a pair of red tennis shoes, but the child's answer...
"Probably not. Okay."
Maybe fine for kicking around town, but not so much for a place as important as church.