My nephew Spencer is a real character! Born a bit later in life to my sister-in-law, Nancy; Spencer has siblings that are much older than he. He is very articulate, charming, and quite the life of the party where these siblings as well as older cousins are concerned! In this photo, he is openly and unashamedly cheating at the well known game of Candy Land, which has spanned many generations in American culture.
Anyone who has ever played can both relate as well as laugh.
Regardless of the direction your life and the choices surrounding how you will live it are concerned, I offer three quick reminders using Candy Land as the illustration.
1. Life is going to deal some unexpected cards. How you respond to them is the real test. It is easy to want to take “The Spencer” approach happening in the photo above: simply pick up the deck, search for the card you really want, and proceed as planned! Admittedly, in my desire to avoid growth or inconvenience I’ve done this many times. It is probably why I as an adult, can still relate to this game! Simply put, the immediate trade off is rarely, if ever, worth the long term results. The lessons we need to learn will appear again and again. I believe that a loving God knows my need and sees my weakness that needs to be strengthened for a greater purpose.
2. There will be many “black dot” delays. Spencer, along with thousands of other little kids, used to think the black dots were special. If you recall, landing on one of them during the game, is a guaranteed delay. He learned really quickly that this was a bummer! I don’t often wait graciously. While the call to efficiency is needed in order to move ahead, waiting or what seems to be an untimely delay, can also be a friend. Perspective is key. Knowing when to wait, evaluate, step back, and rest in the moment with a grateful heart, are life skills that aren’t often commended, but necessary. Many times I’ve been saved from a poor consequence or have even developed better perspective and personal discipline through delays I definitely viewed as black and complicated.
3. Don’t take yourself too seriously, and play on! How often are we “Lost in Lollipop Woods” or bogged down in “The Molasses Swamp?” With a mere touch of the finger, I can be plugged in to the social media world, where my choices are vast and diverse. It is also very easy to get distracted as well as compare myself and what I know I’m called to do, to others and their pursuits. Don’t rob the world of the uniqueness that is you by wishing you were someone or something different! Each of us have a tremendous amount to offer the world, as do the children we are molding and shaping as future leaders and contributors within society.
Play on! Spencer did, and when he legitimately won a game played in yet another round…he told Nancy he felt really good!
Who’s the teacher now?
Teri is a believer in God, family, community, and lover of leadership education the Thomas Jefferson way. Teri writes and also speaks about lessons learned on her educational journey with 5 rambunctious sons, ages 22 down to 9, one hero Hubby, and celebrating day to day life with lots of humor, within the human race. You can find Teri blogging at Tommy Mom.