In one of my classes a couple weeks ago, I was trying to teach a group of ten 4 to 8 year-olds their ballet dance. But one of the girls who is on the younger side of this wide age span stood motionless as the sweet sugar plum fairy song played through the air. She stood there staring absentmindedly at herself in the mirror as the rest of the little ballerinas boureed and turned around the floor. After the song was through I asked the little girl why she wasn’t dancing with us.
“Miss Alley, I don’t know how to. I can’t do it.” I know in fact that this little one is capable of all the moves that we were doing, the problem was that she thought that she couldn’t do it. She didn’t even try. “You can do it!” I say, I encounter this little issue often so in my usual fashion I get on my knees behind her and help her balance so she doesn’t fall and I take her foot gently in my hand and maneuvered her foot for her. I am manually moving her body for her because she will not even try to move on her own.
Now that I have manually moved her foot for her I know for a fact that this kid is capable. So I let go and say now you try. And she stands there un-moving. “I can’t” she says once again. “Well you’ve got to try.” I tell her and then move on to work with the other littles in the room.
Isn’t that just human nature though? I know I tell myself I can’t do things. Like I can’t get my homework done now, I am too tired. Or various excuses.
I have had a very real encounter with this truth in my faith recently. I have struggled this year to have the time to do my daily devotions. For years I have woken up and done my devotional spending about forty-five minutes with the Lord, praying and reading the word. But this year with a new job I have been stretched very thin. I have been waking up an hour and a half earlier than last year. And when I try to sit and do my study I fall asleep, or at least have very heavy eye lids, even with coffee in my system.
Therefore I have been starving myself of the word and not spending nearly enough time with God. It makes for long busy days and a lack of my heart. And I feel like I can’t keep myself awake in the morning. And I can’t make time in the rest of my day to open my Bible. I am the kid who can’t.
But God in His graciousness has gently bent down and taken my hand. And despite the fact that I have not been able to spend much time with Him daily. I have the word poured over me through the people that I see at church and my friends and family. And He has taught me so much even through what has felt like a spiritually stretching time. God has used sermons, stories and songs to teach me.
Although, a spiritual walk still takes effort on our part. God please help me to find a way to spend time with you and to grow with you, you have given me all the tools to do that. And I know by His power I can. I can wake up a little earlier, I can pray in my car on the way to work. I can shut off this little thing called social media.
Oh and about that little ballerina, she dances like the sugar plum fairy herself now.