While talking to my daughter one day, she was telling me that she and her husband were reminiscing about some of the experiences they shared growing up in the Church. The one experience they could both vividly relate to was being in school at Christmas time.
This time was always difficult for my daughter in school, because the teachers would ask the children to draw pictures of Santa Claus and other Christmas symbols. Because my daughter did not celebrate Christmas, she would draw pictures of other things instead. The teachers would often hang the pictures the children drew out in the hallways outside the classrooms. If you walked down the hallway by my daughter’s classroom, you would see 24 pictures of Santa Claus and one snowman, and everyone knew who drew the snowman.
While I think we need to give our children credit for what they have endured for our beliefs, I also think there are important lessons that we adults can learn from the children and especially from the example of the one snowman.
• Courage. It takes courage to be different. It is natural to want to be accepted by others, and this is especially true for children. Children can be very cruel to those who are different from them. Our children have had to exhibit courage and be different.
Do we adults have the courage to be different? God’s ways may seem strange and odd to those in the world. We may even suffer persecution, but do we have the courage to follow God no matter what we have to face? This is not the type of courage where we will receive some kind of recognition or medal in the world. But we have promises that our recognition will come later and our medal will be in the form of a crown. Do we have the courage to follow God?
• Come out of the world. Seeing 24 pictures of Santa Claus and one snowman at my daughter’s school, you saw an obvious difference. When God looks down at the world, does He see us as different from those in the world or are we just like everyone else? God’s ways are not man’s ways. We are to be using His Spirit to develop His ways. God should be able to see a difference in us.
• Faith. When my daughter drew the snowman, she did it out of obedience to her parents and a belief that this is what God would want her to do. Her snowman drawing was evidence of her faith.
Hebrews 11 is replete with examples of those who because of their faith in God endured many trials. They believed God and demonstrated this by their actions. Our yieldedness and obedience show God our faith in Him.
Well, maybe everyone in my daughter’s classroom knew she was different, but most importantly, so did God. I wonder how many hundreds of pictures of snowmen God has hung on His “refrigerator” over the years because these pictures were drawn in faith and obedience to Him. Take a lesson from the children—when the rest of the world draws Santa Claus, we need to be drawing snowmen.