Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The biggest little worrywart

Today we had a little boy in the chair; maybe he was 8 years old. I forget.

He was so frightened of the needle, if he had actually needed one we would probably have used the nitrous oxide. That generally works wonders.

I tried to distract him by engaging him in conversation, as he waited. The easiest topic today was the weather since we were getting more snow that, of course, melted as it hit the ground during the day. Well, this poor 8-year old: he had heard on the radio that this cold weather and snowing was most certainly a sign of the world practically coming to an end.

What a load to carry, needing a needle and the world coming to an end!

But this incident reminded me instantly of various childhood scares. When we were young we heard too much about world wars and of communist atrocities and potential nuclear holocausts. Then, when we lived in North America, we had Dr. Colticott with "If you love this planet." I don't remember how many teachers thought we should watch that in school. Then my own children. I don't know how many times Stefan was shown "An inconvenient truth" in school, in church youthgroup... Is this how every teacher is hip and relevant by scaring the wits out of children? What's the way around this?

I just told this boy, that they have been talking about the world coming to an end ever since I was a little girl and it has not ended yet (and see how old I look). In fact, he was pretty safe today. He did not need a needle and the world has not come to an end as of 9:00 pm, so far.

If I were his parent and had more time with him, of course, I would handle it differently. I like C.S. Lewis' reassurance. God will give you the strength you need when the time comes. You don't need it now. You don't even know what you need. But it will be there.

Or my Dad, who could be quite hilarious, would say: "Erstens kommt es anders, zweitens als man denkt." Which means: first of all, it comes differently, secondly, than you think. Which was just a strange way of saying things always turn out differently than anticipated.

The other saying he had was that the exact thing we fear seldom comes to pass, but something else will. This is actually comforting in the sense that many of the things we fear don't actually happen. My dad was a great guy, always gentle and a bon vivant. (His other favorite saying was: "Besser gut gelebt und doppelt so lange."-- Better live well and twice as long!")


Bror Erickson said...

"Then my own children. I don't know how many times Stefan was shown "An inconvenient truth" in school, in church youthgroup... Is this how every teacher is hip and relevant by scaring the wits out of children? What's the way around this?"
It is an outrageous event that that junk was shown in School, much less Youth group. But yes I think the teachers think 1. This makes them hip. 2. they think it gives them pupose, both they themselves and the children. Because you know, they need purpose, contrary to everything Ecclesiastes has to say on that subject. Death just has a way of cheating life of purpose. The only thing that really gives us any purpose in life is Jesus who gives us life, and eternal life at that. Contrast all this millenial hoopla, secualar and otherwise, about the end of the world coming with what Paul writes to the Thessalonians in his second epistle to them. Notice he writes to calm their fears. Everyone else is bent on trying to excite fears.

Brigitte said...

Good comments. Thank you.

Bror Erickson said...

I don't know if you could do this in your profession, but these little children need to hear the gospel. many of their fears could be calmed simply by telling them. Yes, God tells us the world will come to an end, and will not last forever. But you need not worry your little soul about it, because He has sent his Son Jesus Christ to die for you. And Because His Son died for you you have been given eternal life in Jesus who even now sits at the right hand of God and governs the whole world, promising that the seasons will not end until that last day, when he comes to judge the living and the dead, and reestablish a new heavens and a new earth where we will live in perfect harmony with nature, and the God who created it, even taking care of dinosaurs and the like.

Brigitte said...

Obviously, a gazillion times better answer than mine.

It has occurred to me. There are lots of opportunities to talk with people in the profession, which makes it neat. But the part about little children and fear of climate change, is just occurring to me. It's a good thing to consider.

Yet, I wonder if telling them about Jesus when they are ready to pass out from fear of needles is the right time, either (usually with their mothers also there nattering constantly about behaving themselves, not being rude and how things "won't hurt".) The whole situation can get a little histrionic.

The talk about climate change, in general, could be considered an opening, though.

Brigitte said...

Put that in your up-coming devotion book! :)