Shadows and lights are the concepts addressed in the latest Mother Goose Meets Mother Nature book. The text takes Jack B. Nimble on a journey where he tries to jump over his own shadow. Similarly, in my quiet time this morning, I realized I was trying to do the same thing.
After I left my career as a principal to pursue writing children’s books and creating teacher resources full-time, I wondered if I knew enough and if I was truly doing what God had called me to do. I feared He would change my path again. In other words, I tend to overthink things and my head sometimes gets in the way of fully trusting God through the next season. You might say my doubts and negative thoughts cast a shadow over the light that God wants to shine.
Shadows cannot be jumped over.
Jack Be Nimble is a nursery rhyme that dates back to 1815. It was considered good luck if you could jump a candlestick without extinguishing the flame. In our version, Jack is trying to jump his shadow instead of a candle. Therefore, as I illustrated Jack B. Nimble and the sun, I chuckled as I thought about a little boy who wanted to achieve the feat of jumping his shadow. Then I realized, I am not that much different. I have been wanting to jump over my own shadows of doubt and questionable seasons of life too.
Like Jack, I want the accolades of success. The shadow that I cast sets a dark spot beside me. It represents something that I cannot clearly see just yet. For instance, I am waiting on a future job or an upcoming business deal. Maybe it is a health report from the doctor. Whatever it is, it is hard to see and I know that I am in the way of God’s light shining on it.
But as Jack learns in the story, shadows move with their source and therefore cannot be jumped. Without light, shadows do not exist. We need the light of Christ in our lives and the shadows we cast are a result of Him being near us. As the light moves around the shadows shift and we eventually see the things that were in the dark.
The shadow means the light is there.
Sure, it would be nice to be able to jump over a few of those unseen spots at times. But if we did that, the light would not be as evident to us.
Jack B. Nimble Learns About Shadows is a simple downloadable book that can teach little children about shadows and lights. Similarly, this week taught me something too. As the sun tells Jack, “If the light’s in front or behind, the shadow’s with you all the time”. God is there (in front or behind me) and the shadow I want to skip over is there for a reason.