By Kathy Davidson
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As a principal of a small Christian school, everyday brings a new experience when you teach children. My office is located in the Pre-school building and each day I am blessed to see the smiling faces of children entering into the building full of excitement for a new day as I stand at the door to greet them and direct them to their class.
One day a very frustrated mother arrives early to bring in her four year old son, Garen. The secretary calls me from the traffic line to meet with the two.
Mom tells Garen, “Tell Mrs. Davidson what you brought home in your pocket yesterday!”
Expecting a toy taken from the room or a classmates possession, I waited patiently for Garen to confess. He remained silent.
“Garen, tell me what you took home?” I asked in my best disciplinary voice.
“Rocks, I carried rocks from the playground,” he replied.
I was tempted to laugh, but I could see in the Mom’s face that this was to be a serious issue, a time to teach honesty and respect for property. In the world of educators, this was a “teachable moment”.
“Garen, can you repeat what I have told each of you about the playground rocks?” I asked.
“The rocks are counted at the end of each day by Mrs. Potts, the school Headmaster, and she knows if any are taken. AND…..God always sees me if I take something that doesn’t belong to me,” Garen repeated with accuracy from an earlier meeting with all Pre-schoolers about playground rules.
“Very good, Garen, now during Playtime today, you will return every one of those rocks, (which his mom had put in a plastic container), and will sit out five minutes to remember that being honest is very important. I forgive you and thank you for being truthful,” I said. I gave Garen a big hug and sent him on to early stay. Mom left with a smile and a thank you for helping make the point.
Later on as I thought about the incident with amusement, God reminded me that those rocks did indeed represent honesty. Just as Garen had to confess that he wanted those rocks for whatever reason, we to can collect rocks and carry them around in our pocket. Rocks of anger, disappointment, hurt, unforgiveness… Unlike Garen, however we as adults have a hard time admitting that we have them, so we continue to carry them until the heaviness weighs us down and our focus is on them and we forget that God has His Hand outstretched ready to take them and like Garen put them into the sea of rocks on the playground. When Garen returned those rocks that day, he would have had a real hard time retrieving the same ones, they were “forgotten” in the multitudes on the playground. His load was lighter that day as his pockets and his container were empty. Swinging, running, and climbing were a lot easier without the rocks.
God says the same to you and me! In I John 1:8 God remind us through the apostle John that to deny sin is to be deceitful and the truth is not in us. But thanks be to God that we have an advocate with the Father, Christ Jesus, who forgives our sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness. Be careful today, if you have any “rocks” that you may be carrying, put them into the sea of forgetfulness that is the mercy and grace of Christ Jesus. Then see how free you’ll be to “swing, run, climb, and play, in this adult playground called Life.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all in righteousness.” I John 1:19 NIV
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