My nine month old son taught me something about God not long ago.
John is a funny little guy. He’s been crawling a little while now, and has also recently started walking with the assistance of a walker that plays an assortment of old-school kid songs.
He gets so excited he almost runs, too, and seems to be developing the fierce independence of his older brother, who only asks for help as a last resort, and abhors reading instructions. John will totter around pushing his walker, or a chair, or anything he can get his hands on that will allow him to move.
I had my moment of clarity the other day when I noticed that when we put him to bed he usually just flops down on his side and sleeps whatever amount of time his little body dictates. Then he cries, and we make our way in to pick him up.
It’s a pretty easy routine.
I haven’t seen what he does when my wife goes to get him, but when I enter his room to pick him up from his crib, he’s usually standing and clutching the bars like a prisoner, while crying out as loud as he can for us to come and rescue him.
When he sees me, he usually reaches up with his little shaking hands, like he’s saying “Daddy, Help me!”
I think that’s what I’m usually like with God; I insist on doing things on my own way, and in a sense I push things around because I, too, am a big boy, and I know how to do things on my own.
It’s better than having someone carry you all over the place.
And then there comes a point where I forget that someone used to carry me, and carries me still. What my son taught me is that I don’t reach out my hands for Daddy to pick me up often enough.
When I lift John out of his crib, he usually shuts it off right away. Why not? Daddy has picked him up, and things are pretty good.
He’s safe, and knows he will be comforted in one way or another.
He trusts—in as much of a way as a baby can—that because Daddy has him in his arms, that things will be OK.
Why is it that it’s so hard for me to reach for those arms to pick me up, and comfort me?
My 6 year old even gets it better than I do. He’s got that independent streak of my wife’s, too, but when he gets to that place where the hurt is bad enough, or he is afraid, or needs wisdom about something, he asks for help.
What makes me think I have everything figured out?
I love my kids so much…