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I am Shauna Shanks. I love green smoothies. I'm an author, mom & wife chasing smallness.

Why My Son is the Next Yoda

Why My Son is the Next Yoda

Kindergarten is hard, man. 

It sounds easy enough. Learning to read, learning to write, sitting still for hours at a time, stay in line, be quiet, etc. 

It’s a whole new language since I was in school. My son’s teacher talks to them like they are little adults. “Make smart choices, control your body, stay on task, don’t have hurtful hands”, etc. I mean, if everyone on our planet had learned these basic leadership rules, this world might be void of much of it’s problems. 

I digress. Gabe and I have really had a hard time this school year. He’s my kid and I know he is smart and brilliant and beyond that, he’s genuinely the sweetest, most sincere human on the planet. (You think that about your kid too? This is my blog, pipe down. Write your own.)

Gabe continuously baffles me with his loving heart and his awareness of those around him. He has this sense about him (though he might be oblivious to everything else) that makes him aware when someone around him is sad, hurting or lonely. 

He is a lover. He loves his brothers, his friends, (real and imaginary) and his stuffed animal friends he tucks into bed every single night. In fact, when he was told he had to bring a stuffed animal into school and leave it there for a few weeks so they could practice with them for the upcoming spring program, Gabe was worried sick. He painstakingly determined which stuffed animal would be ok to stay at the school by himself after hours.

Much like any superhero, since his ability to love is nearly super-human, he has weaknesses. Enters kindergarten. We have sat through testing, therapies, conferences, and spent hours at the table angry and sometimes in tears trying to finish homework. 

The other day Gabe said something that made my heart swell with love and pride for my superhero son. He said, “Mom, I’m the next Yoda.” I asked him what he meant and he explained, “Yoda says things backwards and so do I.” 

See, Gabe has been reading and writing backwards. His sounds are flipped in his little mind. Just like Yoda’s. Instead of seeing this as a frustrating problem, my 6-year-old identified with a Jedi-Master. 

He talks differently. A language all his own he does have. Chances are, even if you’ve never seen Star Wars, recognize this language still you do. 

Matthew 18:2-4 “And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this chid is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’” ESV

That could mean all kinds of things, really. There are so many endearing characteristics of children. Specifically in context, this verse uses the word, “humble”. I think we get this word a bit twisted nowadays. The Biblical meaning of humility is quite different from our dictionary meaning today. 

A few highlights from my quick Biblical study on humility: It does NOT mean berating yourself, not believing in your abilities, negative talk or opinion. 

It’s actually pretty awesome. 

1. You are free from pride and arrogance. (You may be able to testify that people who are full of themselves are off-putting. Humility, therefore, makes you attractive to others… without all the showy stuff.)

2. Humility does not need to be constantly defending oneself. You know who you are in Christ. Period. Who cares about our personal flaws when we are given access to such a competent Provider?

3. Because you are confident in who you are in the Lord, not always fretting about yourself, you can put others first. This is the epitome of who Jesus is. Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”

Gabe totally re-iterated this message to me today. He could wallow in the fact that classes are harder for him. He could throw a pity party for himself (which, let’s be real. These happen.) But today, what does he see instead? That he is a freaking Jedi-Master Yoda in his weakness. That’s not pride. Can you see how it’s Biblical humility?

Now that that’s settled he is free to stop focusing on himself and take care of everyone around him. Please let that sink in. Gabe has stuffed animals to tuck in, brothers to hug and a dark world that needs lightened up. He’s free to do that. Because of humility. 

Let’s make a pact. Let’s stop using the word humility as a scapegoat to think poorly of ourselves, excuse lack of confidence, and fill our heads up with negative talk. Let's be secure of who we are in Christ and not give our weaknesses another thought. We can be confident (Like Master Yoda confident) even in our weakness. 

Matthew 18:2-4 “And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this chid is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’” ESV

 

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