Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Life Lessons In The Everyday: The 3 Little Pigs

(Diane King is our wonderful school librarian. This was originally a Chapel Lesson for the 1st through 4th graders at Westbury Christian that Diane wrote and adapted slightly for an older audience.)

I love to think about God. Keeping Him in my conscious thoughts lifts my spirits and helps me throughout the day. Now, don’t get me wrong, I get distracted and pulled down with worries like everyone else, but I try to keep my thoughts on a higher plain. A beautiful sunrise reminds me of the God of creation and a rainbow reminds me of His promises. On Wednesday mornings I join other Moms to pray for the school where I work. I even think about God when I’m doing my job as a school librarian which includes telling fairy tales to children. It was during one of those times when I realized, that as odd as it may sound, you can find some serious life lessons from the story of The Three Little Pigs if you aren’t afraid to look for them there.

You know the story of the Three Little Pigs. Once upon a time there was a family of pigs. There was a Momma Pig, and her three little pigs. When the pigs grew up, Momma pig told them they had to leave home and build their own houses.

Many of us have fantastic parents. Jack and Olivia B.’s mom teaches 75 kindergarten children in Sunday School. Many people would run the opposite direction if asked to teach more than 12 children, but Mrs. B. tells Bible stories to lots more than that every Sunday. Emmah H.’s mom runs the office for her church in downtown Houston. Jack R.’s mom works with the Food Ministry at her church. She thinks nothing of feeding 50 family members who attend a funeral. Several of our students have dads who are preachers and spend all day being the hands and feet of Jesus. As wonderful as these parents may be, each of us must rely on our own faith to meet God. The faith of your mom and dad is just not good enough.

We have children at our school who attend wonderful churches. Madison W. and Alexi V. go to church at Westbury Church of Christ, the church that sends Mr. Hawley to Honduras, Haiti and China. Luke G., and Cana and Nathan M. go to a church where a man used his own airplane to take supplies to the people in Haiti who suffered from the earthquake. As important as it is to attend a thriving church, you can’t rely solely on your church for your personal faith. Some things you need to do for yourself.

Back to the 3 little pigs. As you’ll remember the pigs set off on their own adventures. The first pig built his house with straw. He threw something together not realizing that trouble was just around the corner.

Jesus gives us a heads up concerning trouble. He did not want his people to be unprepared. He said, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

You’ll remember the wolf comes knocking at the little pig’s door and the straw house was no match for the wolf. The Life Lesson from the First Little Pig—a wise pig prepares for trouble.

How do you prepare for trouble? Sometimes just knowing trouble is coming gives you a chance to prepare for it. It’s not a surprise that a student will have words to study for a weekly Spelling test or books to read for their AR goal. I remember when some 2nd graders missed their AR goals after Christmas. The next six weeks they worked on their goal early so they wouldn’t be rushed. They figured out how to prepare for trouble.

I try to stay away from trouble and sometimes I can do the right thing on my own. But you know, sometimes my best just doesn’t seem to be good enough. Perhaps I’m in a bad mood or tired and I say or do something I regret. It’s humbling to know that God, the most powerful force in the universe, wants to help me when I face trouble even if I caused it myself. The Bible says in Galatians 3:26-28 “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

I can put on Jesus and when I do, I have access to His power to be a better person than I could be on my own. How can I be nice to somebody that intentionally told a joke about me to hurt my feelings or feel good about myself when I know I disappointed someone I love and am trying to make amends? Resurrection power can help me face trouble when I can’t do it on my own.

Back to the pig story. The second pig made a house out of sticks. Maybe it was a pretty house with a cool design but …it wasn’t much shelter. The pig didn’t use DISCERNMENT when using building material which is probably typical for a pig. Discernment means you can look at a situation and understand what’s important and what isn’t important. While it’s not very popular today, it can really come in handy when the wolf is at the door.

A discerning person pleases God. David, the youth who killed Goliath, went on to become the most famous King of Judea. David’s son, Solomon, ascended to the throne at David’s death. It was a big job for a young son of a highly accomplished father. God came to Solomon in a dream one night and asked him what he wanted. What an opportunity! What would he ask for? Riches? Fame? Power?

Solomon’s response is found in I Kings 3: 7 - 12. "Now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?
The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him, "Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.”

To this day people talk about Solomon and refer to him as the wisest man who ever lived. The second little pig should have used discernment.

The third little pig was the smart one. What kind of house did he build? He knew to expect trouble and while it’s nice to have a house that’s pretty, the most important thing about a house is its ability to protect those who live inside so he used bricks. It’s not whether the wolf comes, but when the wolf comes, he can huff and puff but he can’t blow the house down.

We are all building spiritual houses. What type of building material will you use? Consider using Rock. Matthew 7: 24-27:"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

Applicable quote of the day:
If I were asked to give what I consider the single most useful bit of advice for all humanity it would be this: Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and when it comes, hold you head high, look it squarely in eye and say, 'I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me.'”
Ann Landers

God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com


Cynthia Reese said...

What a cool lesson! I'm going to share this with The Kiddo, who is a worrywart of the first order, no matter that I paraphrase scripture and say, "Don't worry, just pray."

ME said...

your a great blessing to those kids.. God Bless You and protect you in every trip u have... Thanks for visiting and following.. I will follow u too..