Monday, September 17, 2012

The First Shall Be Last

Each morning, the kids on our street head out to the bus stop before school. In past years, they have spent the 10 minutes of waiting at the bus stop by playing games. Usually there was some kind of game, and they got pretty creative with the rules. Their favorite was a tag game where you could run only on the lines in the pavement. If the person playing “It” was zeroing in on one specific player, they would yell out, “No puppy guarding!” I had never heard that phrase before.

This year, things have changed a bit. This is how they wait for the bus now:IMG_1513

All of a sudden, it’s a contest to find out who gets to be first in line to get on the bus. They stand in this line the entire 10 minutes of waiting for the bus. It would really be no big deal, except there is serious “puppy guarding” of the coveted first-in-line spot. And that drives me a little bonkers at 7:50 in the morning, not to mention they are in such a hustle to get on the bus first that there’s already been one injury. One of the littlest got scraped across the throat when everyone was racing in front of the bus, and she ran into the safety guard arm because she couldn’t see around the big kids.

I’ve tried encouraging them to just go play games, but it only worked for two mornings. We’ve talked about birth order and we tried lining them up in order of their assigned seats on the bus. And I’ve talked to them about Jesus and how he told us the first shall be last and the last shall be first. That idea pings off their little brains and they stare at me with a blank look in their eyes.

I know, I know… it really shouldn’t bother me. My meddling is a one of the purest Helicopter Parent techniques, and I really should let them figure it out on their own. So I’m trying to relinquish control. And I’m looking at this as a gentle reminder from Jesus every morning.

He tells me that we are all born sinful, with our wants and needs paramount to everyone else’s. Even though our kids seem innocent and sweet, sin still has a tight grip on them. The morning bus stop routine is a beautiful way to start my day remembering that we ALL need a Savior. We can never make it to heaven without His help, because we’d all be pushing each other out of line.

Aren’t we blessed to have Someone who loves us enough to let us all be first in line?

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