There's a concept in the business world known as the Peter Principle, which basically says that if a person is doing well in his current position, he will be given more responsibilities. And as those responsibilities increase, along with the corresponding promotions, he will eventually reach a point at which he has maxed out and has reached a level that he can no longer effectively handle. (This could explain why so many leaders of corporations are incompetent.... but that is a different topic for another day.)
What I've been thinking about is how the Peter Principle might relate to the lives of families. I imagine there are some couples out there who think "Married life isn't so hard.... let's try having a baby!" And the extra responsibilities begin. And for some couples, such as for Pete and me, having that one child was enough to send us around the bend and try very hard to not do THAT again for at least a few more years. But then eventually a rhythm to life settles in and the couple looks at each other and says something to the effect of "Well, this isn't SO bad... I bet we could handle another one." And so on, and so on.
Of course in our case, we didn't so much plan these last couple children as be shocked, but then happy they were going to arrive. However, we have pursued adopting more children a couple of different times, so we had apparently reached that point where we were ready to accept some new responsibilities... or so we thought. And there are still a few days here and there where life at our house might not be exactly humming along, but it's not jolting and careening enough for us to panic either. And there are many days where we are very, very thankful, and just want MORE of whatever we have.
But then there are those other days which DO make me panic and think, "How in the world are we going to handle 33.3% MORE child in this house? We can't even manage the 3 we already have!" And I've been having several of those days lately, which is not good timing.
Entropy happens everywhere, I know, but I feel like I have 6 little extra hands here helping it move along in fast-forward. I've had several melt-downs to this effect lately... For instance, I spend a lot of time and precious energy cleaning the wood floors (finally) and then approximately 20 minutes later walk in to find smears of peanut butter and crumbles of rice cake all over! Or, I feel like I'm finally being productive downstairs in our school room helping Rayna with her reading.... and then realize that the peaceful atmosphere is solely due to the fact that Colsen has occupied himself with destroying all my makeup upstairs. It all gets to be a little much sometimes, as I'm sure every mother can attest to.
So what if that Peter Principle were true, and welcoming this 4th child will push us over the ledge of barely functioning in a positive direction, to a complete state of incompetence?? How can I possibly win against 8 little hands assisting Team Entropy??
Yet I know there are other Truths at work in this world. In fact, there are other "Peter Principles" that can be gleaned from a book far superior to this business tome -- from the Book that is divinely written. The New Testament Peter reminds us that our weaknesses are not the final word. There is power available to us that can enable us to walk on water. There is a calling for each of us to be part of something bigger than what we alone could do. And above all, there is great forgiveness given to us, even when we totally blow it -- which in my case is happening all too often lately.
So, it is good to know that God has ordained purposes for both Simon Peter and the Peter Frank family, and despite our levels of incompetence, He has victory and abundant life in store for us!