This post was first published at thewhetstone.co
Don’t be such a scaredy cat… nothing will happen… just try it… I won’t let anything happen to you… there’s nothing to be afraid of. I remember saying that to my kids quite often… trying to chide them into doing something new and exciting. When my patience wore thin… I have to admit that it wasn’t always said with a loving, caring attitude…. but more out of frustration and impatience. Why couldn’t they just be as adventuresome as I was and just trust me?
Last summer I had the privilege of spending some awesome time with our grandkids at the gulf. I was excited to get out into the water and waves and experience it with them but they were pretty hesitant… afraid of many things. When I started looking at the whole experience from their perspective, it changed my whole view. What I realized was that their hesitation to go deeper into the surf… beyond the breakers… was because they had not experienced it… it was a big scary unknown. They had not had anyone guide, teach or help them know how to deal with the surf, the big waves or even the possibility of jellyfish. So after teaching them how to stand, when to jump, what to watch for… slowly helping them experience progressively deeper water and bigger waves… they soon began to relax and actually enjoy it. The experience moved from one of hesitation, fear and resistance to joy and the desire to do more… to experience more. There was music to my ears when I heard them say… with big grins on their faces… this is fun!
I thought about the underlying lesson about parenting and walking through life with those around me. Instead of looking at hesitation or fear as some character flaw or weakness, I realized that in most cases it’s just about not having the experience or having someone with experience to walk alongside. We all need others to keep from being frozen by fear or to be slowed down by the unknown.
To get in deeper water or to gain the skills and confidence to navigate the big waves of life, who can you help… who do you need to learn from? What experiences in life has God given you that can help others when the waves come?
You see, it’s ultimately about God’s provision in the waves of life and scripture has a beautiful reminder for us to teach others, especially the children, about Him and His ways…
Deuteronomy 11:18-20 (New International Version) Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.