I dropped my 7 year old off at school the other day and as I watched her run off to the playground, I was reminded of the need kids have to fit in. Almost immediately, Rebecca ran to meet her two best friends and show off her new outfit.
Of course, a child's need to fit in isn't really unique . . . my three were distinctly aware of this reality at a very young age-wearing the right clothes, hanging out with the cool kids and playing the popular sports were intentional decisions on their part.
As parents, we pray that our childrens' need to fit in doesn't come at a high cost though. We pray that when they face the "fork in the road" of some of life's most significant decisions, they won't choose based on their need to "fit in" but based on it being the right thing to do . . . the Godly thing to do.
I was reminded of something else on the school playground that day . . . the need to "fit in" isn't just something children experience--we adults face the same challenge daily . . .
- When a conversation among friends turns into gossip about someone else--do you go along or do you encourage a change in topic?
- When plans are being made to see a popular movie with a questionable storyline--do you join in or do you express your concern about the movie choice?
- An area close to my heart when it comes to fitting in is reaching out to those who aren't able to reach out themselves. . . the outgoing people make it easy to friend them, but those who struggle with shyness or intimidation with new people are more difficult to connect with--I want to be less concerned with fitting in and more concerned with reaching out.
His Word tells us not to conform to this world (Romans 12:2) . . . to not worry about fitting in and instead be more focused on our Heavenly home-a good reminder as we navigate the playground of life!
Lee Ann Jackson
We Connect. Ministry and Media.