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Archive for September 17th, 2013

chickI heard the story of a family who built a small backyard chicken coop.

They were so excited when they had their first fertilized eggs ready to be hatched. The whole family watched and waited for, for many days (about three weeks), for the process of the tiny chicks to emerge.

Finally tapping noises from within the shells, then the cracking through and soon the little chick was freed from his or her shell.

One of the eggs, though, was not moving beyond the making of a small hole. The family could see the little chick’s beak peeking through, so they knew that it was still alive. As time moved on, and nature was not taking it’s course, they decided to help this little one get freed from it’s all-encompassing shell.

In no time at all the shell was being pecked from the inside and out, and out came a rather floppy-headed chick … who died not long after.

Now that chick might have been weak or sick, even before being helped from it’s cumbersome shell. More likely, though, because the chick had been helped through it’s toughest task (the task that strengthens it’s neck muscles for life outside the shell) the chick was too weak to hold it’s head up.

The good intentions of assisting the chick through a tough task, may have been the very reason for it’s demise.

I was reminded of this story recently as another mom and I were talking about certain struggles in the lives of our kids, and what we could do to help them get through it.

All of a sudden I envisioned that newborn chick, with a floppy head … a floppy head not strong enough to survive because a well-meaning person stepped into it’s life and did the task that … that the chick was intended to struggle through, because the struggle of pecking was making it’s neck muscles strong enough to face what was next.

It is NEVER easy to watch our children struggle. It is NEVER easy to sit back, and not try to ‘fix’ their problems. But what if … what if there is One who is more wise, who knows the strength that can come from struggling through tough times? And what if our ‘help’ actually prevents the development of a character trait or experiential learning that they might need to survive in the next phase of their life?

The mother hen in us may want to help to free our chicks, but our chicks need to build their muscles, and the painful pecking might just save their lives.

 

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