Hold on to That Rope!
by Carla Foote
As I left a downtown luncheon recently, I saw a group of students on a field trip. Herded by a teacher and a volunteer, I empathized with them trying to keep the students together and not lose anyone in the downtown bustle.
The scene reminded me of my childhood field trips with a knotted rope. My teacher would have a long rope with knots evenly spaced along it. We were supposed to hold our knot on the rope. This helped keep us orderly, prevented stragglers and certainly must have helped the teacher’s sanity on field trip day. I haven’t seen one of those ropes with knots lately, but maybe they will come back into vogue.
The memory of students on a rope reminded me of the importance of connectedness. It is a common theme in scripture and a good principle for our lives.
The Israelites on their great field trip out of Egypt had to stay connected with God and his presence. There was a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. The idea was to stay in sight of the cloud that represented God’s presence. In the New Testament, Jesus teaches his disciples, “I am the vine; you are the branches.” (John 15:5) We are to stay connected to him to live and be fruitful.
There are two aspects of connectedness in our lives — to God and to other people.
First, we need to be individually connected to God or we can end up feeling empty from all the demands around us. How can you stay connected to God as a busy mom? It just takes some simple principles — time reading the Bible, praying and studying can connect us to God. When we let go of the rope, we are apt to wander in the desert.
Connection with other women can take many forms, but the support and accountability of friends who can mentor and encourage us is important. You may have had this connectedness in a MOPS group. As you embrace the school-age season of your life, be sure to include supportive relationships in your schedule and plans. It is easier to lose hold of the knot if you are not regularly checking your grip and having others check with you.
One more thought about the rope. I remember that as a child on a field trip we were not tied together! That would be more like a chain gang than a field trip. Connections can’t be mandatory if they’re going to work. No — as with the Israelites, we choose to connect. Can you find your knot on the rope?