Lessons from Charlotte’s Web   1 comment

 Books are an amazing thing. They speak to us and what we hear may be determined where we are at in life. A phrase may swiftly be read over in one reading, but may jump out at us when read again at another time.

 I recently read Charlotte’s Web for the fourth time.  Years ago I first read it to my now nineteen year old and continued on through our children to the present, where my four and seven year olds enjoyed this sweet tale. I have been at different stages in my adult life at each of the readings and with this most recent one, some of the book’s wisdom had resounded with me.

At one point in the story, Wilbur, the pig, is making plans for his day. For one hour he planned to stand perfectly still and think of what it is to be alive. What wisdom we can learn from simple Wilbur. We are a culture of doing and we seldom learn to just ‘be’.  Can most of us even imagine just ‘being’ for one hour in today’s world?  We may have a lot of down time sitting in front of the tv or computer, but to just ‘be’ and meditate on what it is to be alive, as Wilbur suggested, is something foreign to most of us.  In our doing culture we want to be productive and see the immediate results of how our time has been spent.  When we take the time to ‘be’ we are able to reflect on life, connect with God, and learn more about ourselves.  Those results generally are not seen immediately, but over time we see we are more closely connected with God and walk through life with an inner peace. Wilbur understood what God has been telling us in his Word; “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters” (Psalm 23:2 KJV).

What about our children? Does our culture allow for them to enjoy the green pastures and still waters? In the story, eight year old Fern spends her afternoons sitting in the barnyard watching the animals. What a wonderful way for a child to spend her time. If Fern were a child today her days may look very different; soccer practice on Monday, dance on Tuesday, soccer practice on Wednesday, piano lesson and soccer practice on Thursday with McDonalds in the van on the way to Girl Scouts, soccer game on Friday and attending her brother’s swim meet all day on Saturday. In a culture of doing and achieving, a schedule like that is a reality for many children and it makes for long days if they have already spent much of it in school.  Even when children are home, they are bombarded with constant media presence – computer, Wii, facebook, tv, ipod, texting – the lure of these things is strong and it’s easy to keep our minds occupied at all times with, for the most part, useless garbage.  We push our children to do and accomplish, and equipt them with technology, yet we forget they need time for quiet reflection and at times, to just sit and observe the world. 

Sometimes it takes the simplest among us, like a barn yard pig, to remind us to step back and listen to what God has been telling us all along.

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Posted February 22, 2011 by The Nonconformist Mom in childhood

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One response to “Lessons from Charlotte’s Web

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  1. How true! Wilbur has great wisdom. So do you, for pointing that out. 😉

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