My two-year-old daughter really enjoys a show on Nick Jr. called Wonder Pets. It’s about three animals—a duck, a turtle and a guinea pig—who by day masquerade as everyday school classroom pets, and then as soon as the school day ends, they become miniature super heroes rescuing animals in trouble all over the world. As with all television shows that fascinate a two-year-old, Wonder Pets is annoyingly captivating. I’ll sometimes put the show on for my daughter to distract her for 15 minutes or so while I clean the kitchen or write a blog entry. But before you know it, I’m drawn in, curious how the Wonder Pets will save the baby squirrel stuck on the roller coaster. And the kitchen goes uncleaned or the blog post . . . becomes about the Wonder Pets.
But I believe there are life lessons everywhere you look. In every episode of the show that’s entirely too young for me, our heroes have to solve a problem by working together. “What’s gonna work,” one will sing out. “Teamwork,” they’ll bellow back. And using their individual gifts together, the problem gets solved. It got me thinking. Wouldn’t it be great if we all had this as our battle cry?
I’m not very good at teamwork, myself. When I get in a bind as a writer and the work is starting to pile up on me, do I ask for help? Usually, no. I just push and push at it, giving up sleep and time with my family, until the job is done. What am I trying to prove, I wonder? That I’m really awesome? That I don’t need help? Maybe, but the cost is that I’m tired and stressed and not much fun to be around. As Ming Ming the duck would say, “This is serious!”
Are you like me? Are you trying to take on all the work because you don’t want to admit you’re human? I’m trying to learn that, while my mission is important, it isn’t about me. And me looking impressive is not the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal, for me, is to honor God with my work and my life, and the best way to do that is to rely not only on my strength, but His strength, and the strength of those people within my sphere. Luckily, my two-year-old will grow up already knowing this.