Today was such a fun day in our household. Our family took a field trip and headed down to the Indianapolis Children's Museum. A long drive, but soooo much fun! In our homeschooling, we just fininshed Dd Dinosaur, and so I planned a trip to the Museum to go through their Dino exibit. The girls loved it (Ethan did too, although not nearly as much) and we really enjoyed our time spent there. I would have loved to take them to the Creation Museum, but it was much further, but what we talked about made a good follow up to school!
They have an exibit about children who made a difference. They focused on Anne Frank, Ruby (can't remember her last name right now, and Ryan White. The had interactive videos and replicas of scenes from their lives and it was incredible. I began to think of all the things that these young people did, especially the fact that each one of them were discriminated against and yet, they set and example for their generation to follow. Ryan faced fear and rejection because he was given AIDS through a medical procedure when AIDS was such a new disease and yet he had such strength that was shown through the glimpses of his life. Ruby faced oppression as she was one of the first African American girls to attend an integrated school when racism was prevelant in that society. They had a neat little clip on forgiveness that I liked. She said something like praying for and forgiving people isn't for the one who needs to be forgiven, it's for the one who gives the forgiveness. I was reminded that we need to be in the habit of bestowing grace and forgiveness even to those who don't recognize the need for asking for forgiveness. We need to be quick to forgive so that we don't allow bitterness and anger to overtake us. I have really had forgiveness and our response to others on my mind alot lately. I know that it is hard to forgive sometimes, especially when people don't seem to care about asking for forgiveness, but Christ calles us to follow His example and love our enemies, do good to them, pray for them, and ultimately trust that God is the righteous judge. It's hard, really hard, but I was reminded on the importance of following this, especially as a believer in Christ, because we can make a difference in our generation by the way we live and act as well as the way we respond to the difficulties we face.
Anne Frank, I must admit, impacted me the most. I have read her diary a very long time ago, but when I think of the fear she must have faced while she and others lived in hiding, and then the fact that she lost her life really shook me in my spirit. She was an example of strength in her generation...and she was soooo young! I was reminded of the verses of Christ in Scripture that talks about us taking up our cross and following Him. If we want to find full life, we must lose our lives for Him, but if we keep following our own hearts and our own fleshly desires, we will lose our life. I want to be one who dies to myself to live life for Christ. I want my life to impact my generation and younger generations for Him. I have come to realize that means going against my feelings and my wants and even what I think should be, and instead I am comming to understand the importance of surrendering myself to the One who loved me and gave up His life that I might truly live. And that is not easy. It is not always the way "I" think things should be, but if I want joy and a life that is truly abundant, that means I need to surrender me- all of it.
So, you see, today was a great day for me. A good day for remembering that we all face struggles, we all face great hurts, we all face difficult trials, but we can be a light to our generation (and even those who are older than us) if we live the way Christ calls us to live.
Lord, may we all live lives that are surrendered completely to you and to the plan that you have given us in Your Word. Our lives and struggles are not the same, but you have given us instructions that fit each life and circumstance. May we live abundantly in You.