God placed many lessons for parents and teachers in the outdoor life. Today, a student and I watched two mourning doves solve a problem. They landed between the water filter (black bin) and white bucket. The couple waddled to the edge of the mini-pool, peered into the splashing water, and realized they could not drink without taking a tumble. They did not frantically rush about nor flail. They cautiously strolled around the pool until they reached the waterfall. One took the lead, leaned over, and drank without mishap.
This morning, a similar thing happened with one of our students. His brother had fixed a breakfast sandwich for him. He took one bite of it in the car and then another, but rejected it because of mayonnaise. Sometimes, he likes mayo; sometimes, he does not. Today, he did not. Skipping breakfast is not an option for him because of headaches. So, when they arrived at school, his mom told him that he had to eat half the sandwich. Fuming and fussing, he did not process reasons why he needed to eat breakfast. Mayo is not my favorite condiment either, and I did not relish forcing a someone to chow down something I did not even like.
Like the doves, I did not rush the student over the edge and demand him to eat on command. I let him sit quietly and calm down. He turned to me and said, "Mrs. Tammy, can I wipe off the mayo?"
Happy to stall, I said, "Of course!"
He opened the sandwich slowly. Then, he pulled off a piece of meat covered in mayo. I noticed the remaining two were slathered in mustard.
He took a napkin and began to wipe the piece of mayo bread. I studied the meat sitting on the mustardy slice of bread with meat.
Suddenly, a whisper from God came to me. If the student folded the mustard side, he would have half a sandwich. A mayo-free half! I shared my idea with him and noted that he could obey his mom without having to eat mayo. He smiled and asked if he could toss the other half in the trash. "Of course!" I said.
What I learned from the doves is that sometimes answers do not come in a rush. They come when quietly walking around the edge of a problem. The solution is not obvious until you take a few steps and see where God is leading you.