Thursday, November 18, 2010

Moment from June 2010 - Baby Steps

Today I watched my nephew learning to walk… 
It started with a few toddling steps back and forth between guiding arms. He had no balance but loved when we clapped for him. Smiling faces, cheering him on… he had a good support group. 
Eventually he got independent… enough to let go of one hand. Then two… soon he could stand up on his feet – when we set him there – and walk a long ways on his own. 
I watched Mr. Independence take on this new life lesson with pride. He wasn’t perfect – are any of us? – but fell gradually less and less. 
Still not strong enough to stand back up on his own, I had to follow along while he walked and fell many times; take his little hands, set him back on his feet, and let him go again. “that’s life”, I thought. “you fall, you get back up again”…
Then I noticed something different.
Perhaps it was the affirmation we lovingly gave in the beginning… perhaps it was the knowledge that he could do something that big people do… 
Either way, I found it interesting that every time he fell, he clapped for himself. No tears or discouragement or proclamation of being “all done”… he would fall, and look up with a big grin and start clapping as if he had done the most amazing thing in the world! Then as I set him back on his feet… he’d try again with just as much confidence as before he fell. 

What if we did this? 
It’s so easy to fall… we go along in life tripping over the tiniest tuft of grass or stray shoe someone has left in our way. 
It hurts to fall. We don’t like it. But God is always there… unwaveringly following behind. Brushing off the dirt, encouraging, cheering us on… setting us back on our unsteady feet time and time again. 
What is our reaction when we fall so many times? 
Do we cry, whine… give up completely? 
Yes it hurts. Yes it is humiliating learning something that looks so simple when others do it… but we are new at this. We make mistakes. We trip and fall… but will we learn from it? 
Will we learn to fall to our knees and look up at God and clap because he is teaching us thru the tough times… smile because we know he loves us… clap for ourselves. We’re not perfect. We mess up. He still loves us. He sets us back on our feet again, brushes away the dirt, and with a hug and kiss sends us on our way… and perhaps we’ll make it a little further this time...

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing”. – James 1:2-3

Michelle Joy

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