Sunday, 23 October 2011

Lessons from 'The Grumpalump'

I've been pondering what to share for staff devotions on Friday next week.  Being one who has a bit of a 'thing' for children's books I've decided to base mine on 'The Grumpalump'.  It is a book that was written a way back in 1990 by Sarah Hayes and was very popular when I had Miss Sunshine.  I adored it then and ended up buying a whole set of Reading Together books put together by Walker Books just so I could have this on my shelf.  See, my 'thing' for children's books goes a long way back!!  It's only in the last couple of weeks that I've realised there is more to this book than meets the eye.

I've been dealing with some pretty significant challenges over the course of this year.  Some have been quite painful.  Some have required us to make decisions that our children have struggled with and we've not been at liberty to discuss our reasons with them.  The other day as I was reading 'The Grumpalump' I was reminded that we meet the challenges we face in all kinds of ways - many of which are futile.  Many a time I have found myself staring at the trials that have face me.  I've felt numb and paralysed as to what to do, much like the bear in this book.  I've rolled and sat and shoved and pulled and wacked and been left exhausted.  Not only that, but all that energy has been for naught and I find myself in much the same place as when it all began.

"The bear stared, the cat sat, the mole rolled,
the dove shoved, the bull pulled,
the yak whacked and
the armadillo used it for a pillow.
But the lump still grumped" 

'Then the gnu blew'.  I am reminded that I can't just respond to my challenges in any old way.  I have to pray.  I have to be proactive in seeking God's way through things that have no way through in my own strength or knowledge.  I wish it was all as simple as that, that my grumpalump would become clear and I'd know how to deal with it.  The truth is some of those challenges remain unclear and God chooses not to reveal His answers just yet.  I still feel like the bear staring at the grumpalump most of the time.

What I do know is that at some point God will point the way to the spot where I need to act.  Just like the gnu.  And when He lets me start blowing the challenges will be transformed into something that I never expected and I'll be able to set off on the journey that God has planned.  Just like the gnu.

"The gnu drew breath and clambered in.
the grumpalump began to grin.
"I'm off on a trip in my hot airship," said the gnu, and flew.
Absolutely true."

How do you respond to your challenges?  Are you like the gnu, or are you staring, sitting, rolling, shoving, pulling whacking and exhausted?


Left-Handed Housewife said...

I tend to be wildly proactive, wear myself out, and then get still and listen. Not always easy to hear, though, is it?


Tracy said...

No. I must admit, I had many a day where I've sort of...well... not prayed, because I'm scared of what the answer will be. A bit of an armadillo approach I think!