Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What I Want to Be

I want to be like Patch Adams. I want to be weird and silly and make people feel better.
You know, sometimes when my students seem anxious or stressed, I let them run outside into the field across from our school building. Sometimes I join them. I give them strict instructions that they must run and feel free to yell and turn around in circles with their arms outstretched.

One day I ran out with five of them. One day, I looked out the window and just watched the one run out, accompanied by another who was just there for support.

It just makes me feel bad when I see young people feeling down and defeated at times, and I wish I could help.

While I'm making confessions, I will say that I really don't think I'm a very good teacher. It is my job, but many times I question my abilities and even my purpose for doing what I'm doing. Yet, it is in the moments like the ones mentioned above, that I can sense a purpose and bigger plan involved.

You see I want to demonstrate to my students that it's okay to be weird at times. It's okay to let loose. It's okay to smile at the face of adversity. It's okay to run, when we don't feel like moving. And still it's okay to cry and share our weaknesses.

I read a very good book recently, and I'm actually re-reading it. I don't want to forget the lessons within. The book is entitled, "Weird, because normal isn't working".
Catchy... right?

Well, it certainly caught my attention, as I was reminded that my life should be one that is different from the norm. You see the norm is usually contrary to what God requires. The norm says that those difficult teenage years are normal and well "our kids will act out" and we just need to give them space. The norm says that we should focus on our kids' appearances and abilities much more than their heart issues. The norm says that because 50% of marriages end in divorce, you should no longer have expectations of "til death due us part". The norm says that "boys will be boys". And that girls are now experimenting, and should be given the freedom and tools to do so. The norm says that parents are lame and kids are cool. The norm says that church is for socializing and for going through the motions.

I can go on and on.... but I'd only be prolonging what I really want to share with you. You see, I want to be different. I don't want to be like the norm. I want to be the opposite, even if it means I'm weird. Even if it means that others will oppose and or feel insulted, I want to do what is right because it's right. I want to care for people authentically, not just superficially. I want to spend time with my teenage son and share the highlights of his day, instead of sitting by while he fills his mind with Ipod music and Internet images. I want to dance with my adolescent son and form memories, instead of filling up our schedules with extracurricular activities. I want to go on dates with my husband, just because. I want to teach my little girl that we can be friends now and always. And I want her to feel free to dance-- not as the media dictates our music and dance, but out of joy for God.
I want to do what others are not doing.
I want to be an influence for those around me that will speak volumes about the love of God, the peace He gives, and the grace that abounds in Him.

And well..... my goals are set high, maybe even too high for me to reach. But I know that God is leading and He will also provide me with what I need, to do what He intends.

Maybe you are already doing the things I've mentioned. If so, I commend you. But I've lived too long following the patterns of this world, and I choose not to do so anymore!

I want to be like Patch Adams... I want to be weird because normal isn't working.

How do you relieve stress?

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