“Who do you think is the winner?”

I sat in a Bible lesson today for preschoolers. The story was about Elijah and the prophets and the strong competition they were having. The teacher asked, “Who do you think was the winner?”  Without a hesitation a child shouted, “The Blackhawks!!!”

A WIN!!!!!

A WIN!!!!!

Living in the Chicago area, the Blackhawks are much more popular than Elijah. The story of Elijah was being told in a Vacation Bible School setting, and hours upon hours had been put into decorations to make the scene look like Mount Everest and also Mount Sinai where Elijah heard from God. The first day as the preschoolers looked in awe at the mountain scenes, one boy looked at it all and said, “It’s very nice, but where are the Blackhawks?”

th-2

Sometimes we get so engrossed in the current sport’s event, or the voices on the radio and the crimes we see on the news, or the politicians in our area that we are not able to fully focus on other topics that come our way. The “Elijah stories” of our lives get too hard to notice.

However, if we want to be able to embrace the “Elijah stories” in our lives, we need to step away from the loudness of the Blackhawks’ win. After the win in Chicago, fireworks went off, and people all over the area started tracking the location of the Stanley Cup. Wrigley Field and bars emptied, and the celebrations continued.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Chicago will host a ”world class” celebration for the Blackhawks in the coming days to celebrate the team’s Stanley Cup win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Winning the third Stanley Cup in only six years is a big deal, and the Hawks are being considered a “dynasty.”

Now getting back to that story of Elijah, Elijah was scared of the big deals in his life, and he hid in a cleft in the side of a mountain. He heard a tumultuous earthquake, booming thunder and lightning in a windstorm and a raging fire. All three of these were impossible for Elijah to miss. However, the god he was searching for was not in any of these larger than life occurrences.  God was in a whisper.

Sometimes life gets noisy. Circumstances around us are like gongs. It is all we can concentrate on. However, if we can remain still, there are still whispers that are speaking to us. There are still ways for us to be loud by being quiet.

  • What is something in your life right now that is taking up a lot of attention?
  • In a perfect world, what dream would you like to have happening loudly and boldly in your life?
  • What is stopping you from resting in a quiet place and working on a way to help your dreams become true?
Stay quiet and just listen....

Stay quiet and just listen….

P.S. The first picture of the boys hugging was not a picture of boys excited about the Blackhawks winning. It shows two boys being told to hug one of their friends. These two boys spontaneously hugged each other and did not want to let go. In my opinion, two boys showing love is a huge win. They may not receive a Stanley Cup, but they have the ability to change the world.

“Did you see the Blackhawks play last night?”

Being from the Chicago area, it seems everyone is very excited about the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup playoffs. I asked a preschooler, “Did you see the Blackhawks play last night?” He replied, “No, I saw red birds flying in my backyard, but I did not see any black hawks.”

Red Bird possibly awaiting a Black Hawk

Red Bird possibly awaiting a Black Hawk

To be fair, I asked another preschooler the same question on the same day. “Did you see the Blackhawks play?” This child’s response was, “I think Crawford did an awesome job in the net, and I want to be as fast as Patrick Sharp one day.”

Blackhawk tatoo

Blackhawk possibly awaiting a Stanley Cup win.

These 5 year olds were both asked the same question, yet their answers were so vastly different. You can see where exposure makes a big difference to a child. A child whose parent loves hockey may be able to embrace face offs, icing and off sides. A child whose parents love birds may be able to embrace red-tailed hawks, talons, falconry and the concept of carnivorousness. Children pick up on what adults gravitate towards.

This puts a tremendous amount of responsibility into parents’ and teacher’s behaviors. When children see parents mocking other nationalities, they see that as acceptable. When children see teachers talking to each other while ignoring behaviors in the classroom, they see poor behavior and gossiping as acceptable. When children see adults smoking cigarettes, they see that as acceptable. When children see grandparents eating junk food, they want to be included in that too.

It is always easier to embrace strong, healthy passions than to stop and change something that is not acceptable. Children are watching you. Even if you don’t have children in your home, they see you in the store. They see you at the park. They see you in cars. Children have eyes like hawks. They see more than they talk about. Everyone needs to be aware of what children may be seeing in our lifestyles, our words and our actions.

A red-tailed hawk can see a rabbit for two miles. Their eyes can zoom in on their prey. A preschooler’s eyes may not be able to see a rabbit for two miles, but they can see what is important to an adult by the way he or she spends his or her time. To a preschooler, you have the ability to be a part of the biggest power play he or she may ever experience.

  • Based on what you do and watch, what would people think you are interested in?
  • What is something someone would assume you dislike?
  • How could you show people what you really value?
  • Will you consider modeling some good behavior this week?

“If you’re a dad, what kind of mark are your leaving on your children, especially your sons? Do you realize that your little boys are watching you like hawks? They’re trying to figure out what maleness is all about, and you’re their model.”  Bill Hybels

The power of a preschooler can change your mind……if you let it.