Standing on My Head

By Jenny Dendinger

Every day before her afternoon nap, my daughter gleefully grabs her favorite book for me to read. It’s the cutest little story of a goose that is feeling sad and wanting a hug. He tries to tell his friends what he needs, but instead of listening, they keep guessing how they can cheer him up.

Does he want to play tag? Splash in puddles? Stand on his head?

After a little while, he starts to raise his voice to tell them what he really needs. This finally gets their attention. Looking at him confused, they ask, “What, Goose?”

“A HUG!” begs the sad and now frustrated goose.

My daughter giggles with anticipation every time we turn to the last page. His friends, now surrounding him in a hug, ask, “Well, why didn’t you say so?”

Maybe it’s just where I am in my spiritual life right now, but I always identify with the friends that are desperately trying to make Goose happy. Only in my story, God is my goose.

Instead of spending time in prayer and listening to what God is trying to tell me, I often find myself struggling to sit still. I jump from one thing to the next, basically standing on my head in desperation as I try to find something to help strengthen my relationship with him.

As Goose finally gets out his request for a hug, I imagine God (although, hopefully not yelling at me in frustration) saying, “Jenny, just sit with me! Stop trying to do cartwheels to get my attention. You have it already! Please, come talk with me!”

God knows how hard that is for me to do.  Finding quiet time for prayer has felt almost impossible since I’m homeschooling a house full of kids every day.

Although, if I’m being honest, it’s a lot easier than standing on my head. It’s probably much more effective, too.

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