Creative and beloved children’s author Mo Willems has written a delightful series of books centering on “the Pigeon.” The pigeon is a rather boisterous and self-centered character who (like some toddlers) will beg, plead, cajole, bargain, and even throw tantrums in attempts to get his way. This is usually done in a rather humorous and entertaining way, but provides decent illustration for kids to understand how ridiculous their actions can sometimes be. The pigeon is a character with some reinforcing lessons for children…but often holds valuable truths for adults, as well.
For kids… Several Pigeon tales can remind little ones that what we want might not always be the best for us. In the stories, Pigeon begs for things like a puppy, a cookie, a later bedtime, skipping bath, or of course, driving privileges. He demands and pleads his own way and becomes jealous when others obtain his desires (The Duckling Gets a Cookie?). Most of the time, however, the things he wants (staying up late, driving a bus, not bathing) would actually not be good for him. This is a good lead-in to reminding kids that we have to put our lives in the hands of others. In spite of our wishes, we can’t always be in control and have to trust the wisdom of mommies, daddies, guardians, teachers, etc. to help us along and tell us what to do. Most importantly, we have to trust God to ultimately direct what happens and know what is best for us. He knows even better than our parents, and will always help when we ask in prayer.
Now, that principle works for adults, too! Who is driving the bus in your life? We try so hard to be in control sometimes. We think we know what is best, and we grow angry with others or with God when things don’t seem to go as we had planned or imagined. We try to be in charge and have tantrums of our own if we don’t get what we want. The more we try to take things into our own hands, the harder life becomes. We don’t know enough about the road ahead to take charge at the wheel. We have to let God be in complete control. Sometimes this means admitting that we might now understand what is going on. Sometimes it involves relinquishing dreams or desires. But when we focus our hearts truly on seeking what HE wants, ultimately our greatest yearnings and true needs will be satisfied.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. -Matthew 6:33
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight. -Proverbs 3:5-6