Sometimes I’ll crumple a piece of paper or mail, and ask him to go throw it in the garbage just so I can watch him strut on over to the trash can. He walks with the same reckless abandon, the same unbridled, full-speed-ahead manner in which he does everything else. His chubby little legs move so fast, and with such purpose that I can’t help but laugh out loud and squeal with grandma delight. I love everything about my grandson, but his walk? It is the cutest thing. Ever.
As he begins his exciting adventure of true mobility, I’m reminded of some important truths.
It was one of those gorgeous Colorado evenings, the sun coloring everything an inky shade of romantic as it began its final bow before the credits rolled across the night. The HH and I decided to take Mason for a walk before the nighttime bath ritual that accompanies his sleepovers. The HH buckled him into the stroller and pushed him down the uneven sidewalks along our house. Mason kept up a nonsensical chatter, replete with inflections indicating questions and exclamations. It wasn’t long, however, before he grew restless.
He’d recently discovered that attached to his very own chunky little body was a personal mode of transportation. The boy had discovered how to walk and he was no longer satisfied to be a passenger. As soon as we reached a quiet street, the HH unbuckled him, lifted him up and set him on the pavement. The boy was off! Heading straight for a rose-bush. I managed to plant myself between him and the lovely red flowers. He tried to get around me but I wasn’t giving in so he turned around and headed in the opposite direction. The street.
And although it was a quiet street, currently with little more noise than the rustling of tree leaves, the HH and I knew that sometimes cars with teenagers who fancy themselves invincible, come flying down the road. So grandpa quickly blocked the way with the stroller.
Our grandson is a bit strong-willed. (I’m fairly certain that comes from his maternal grandfather’s side…) He wasn’t about to give up. He tried tirelessly to get around the HH, to get around me, but when he discovered he was fighting a losing battle, he headed straight down the sidewalk. There were a number of times when he likely thought we’d forgotten, or that he would be faster than his grandparents, and he would again try to veer off the path only to find himself once again thwarted. He made it vocally known he wasn’t happy.
We know the boy was created to explore this world. We let him stop and pick up roly-polies and other crawlers between his chubby little fingers; we let him grab sticks and rocks and dirt. We even let him try tasting some of his findings. (Sorry, Alyssa…) We let him go as far to the edge as was safe and then corralled him back in.
Because we love him.
And it is our job to keep him safe.
And because he isn’t quite ready to be free, we hedge him in, prevent him from going where he wants to go.
He didn’t understand that, and sometimes he got downright mad at us, plopping himself down and refusing to budge. So I’d pick him up, swing him around until he squealed and set him back down. And we’d continue on until he once again found himself boxed in by his two grandparents.
Do you ever feel hedged in? Stuck? Thwarted? Maybe it is within a career field or a place or a relationship or a disability? And you long to be free to go your own way; you sometimes want to kick and scream or plop yourself down, refusing to budge until you get your way?
Maybe, just maybe, Mason has a lesson for us here, a lesson about God’s great love and protection.
I know I’ve been here before, curled within the dark confines of a chrysalis, stuck in the in-between, longing for the freedom of a butterfly’s wings.
And I learned.
I learned that if I wait patiently for God’s perfect timing and don’t give in to my own impatient breaking free, breaking away
that I will
I will soon be singing the lepidoptera’s song of freedom.
The mind of a man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9 NASB
Those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength, they will mount up with wings like eagles (or butterflies :) ) they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31 NASB
Grateful for this wonderful life,
Marie with a :)