Saturday, February 10, 2007

When She Fell Off The Pedestal I Put Her On

Jer 17:5-8

5 This is what the LORD says:
"Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the LORD.

6 He will be like a bush in the wastelands;
he will not see prosperity when it comes.
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.

7 "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.

8 He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit."

This was the first reading in tonight's mass. When I was thinking about today's post I was thinking along these lines and hearing the reading just encouraged me.

I have attended bible studies my whole life. I love them. I love the reading, the learning, the socializing, everything.

About eight years ago, when I finally became a stay-at-home Mom, my daughter went of to primary and I could finally attend a bible study in the daytime. I started looking and found a morning group who were up for new "attendees".

Great. I was so happy. The study was awesome. It was a video and scripture study that went through all the countries in the bible and followed Jesus' path. Another great feature was that all the women were from different denominations, so there was lively and truly interesting and inspiring discussions.

I loved the leader. She was so earnest in her love for the Lord. She was an at-home Mom of three children, a dedicated Christian woman in a Christian family, happily married and really focussed on her life and where she was going. She was (and probably still is) a wonderful prayer. So genuine, she could bring herself and us to tears. I loved to listen to her pray. She knew the scriptures. A woman who was a great teacher and a great person.

A real role model. Someone to look up to and emulate. (SCREECH - that was what I should have done).

One day after our time together, we were getting ready to leave and were talking about kids - of course. Our local elementary school was getting ready to change their policies and become a peanut-free/peanut-smart school since it would soon have students that were deathly allergic to peanuts.

My role model thought this was crazy. She couldn't believe it - all these changes for a few students. Nevermind the fact that in Canada all children are legally entitled to a SAFE learning environment, etc, etc. What were her kids going to eat, couldn't the "at-risk" students eat by themselves somewhere else, can't they be responsible for themselves, etc.

I couldn't believe it. As a person with food intolerances, I knew what could happen when you ate the wrong thing. And we were talking about 5 years olds - they need help with their allergies and the other 5 year olds need help being educated. It's an elementary school after all. Of course kids can be more responsible when THEY CAN READ THE LABELS THEMSELVES.

And she fell off the pedestal. Actually, I pushed her off. The pedestal that I had built mind you. She didn't ask to be put up there.

That's when I realized that God is my role model. If anyone is on a pedestal in my life, it had better be Him. I know He has put great people in my life, people who can set a good example, encourage, inspire and teach. But if I am going to emulate or imitate anyone, it needs to be Him.

Many times, it seems easier, more reasonable and likely more chance of success if we follow a person. We have to keep our eyes up and looking to Heaven.

It wasn't my friend's fault. She didn't to anything but be human and in her humanity I recognized the greatness of God.



Barb said...

So many times in my life, Sandy, I have been quick to throw an opinion out. Later I found out I was quick because I didn't have the facts.

This friend of yours obviously doesn't deal with food allergies or know anyone who has rushed a child to the emergency room because he or she ate the wrong thing.

I sense that you feel compassion for her, and forgiveness. She's fortunate that you are her friend. I've been fortunate to have friends who forgave me because I spoke out of ignorance.

A very thought-provoking post.

Blessed Beyond Measure said...

What great thoughts here. I imagine she would have been horrified, knowing herself, to think anyone would look up to her so much. We are responnsible for our witness, but there's also a responsibility to point others to Christ, not ourselves. A lesson to last you a lifetime I'm sure.