For the past ten days, I've been out of town on an adventure/vacation. I have some backtracking to do, but this is what's in my brain right now and I want to share it.
This summer has been a different type of adventure for me--not marked by motion or movement, but by staying. I continue to wrestle with a sense of purpose, and direction beyond my time in school.
My childish impatience and tendency towards self-reliance would tell me I'm not doing enough, going enough, being enough, moving fast enough. All of these thoughts collided together when wrangling my family through an airport tonight.
My two year old nephew insists on walking by himself.
He has trouble with his knees so he walks in this weird-wobbling-way, like an arthritic toddler. You can tell his legs hurt, even from far away. He's stubborn and fiestily independent, almost to his own detriment (sound like anybody you know? haha) He can't even speak in full sentences yet, so he strings together declarative commands to talk.
walk! by myself! WHOLE WAY!
That's all I heard most of the day, spent in two different airports. After vast amounts of walking, you could tell he was exhausted. Eventually my brother picked him up and put him on his shoulders. Instantly, my nephew started crying, screaming, and flailing his arm around.
walk! by myself! whole WAY!
But after a few minutes, the boy calmed down. He started liking not having to walk on his tired legs.
"Lizzy!" I heard him say my name and looked up to his big, toothy grin. "Small! Small!"
"What's small, Max?"
"Small! People! Daddy tall!" And in an instant, I understood. Everything looked smaller when he was on his father's shoulders.
Instead of having a knee-eye view of the people coming at him, he could suddenly see over them. He didn't have to walk around people or bump into them anymore. All of the obstacles he had been fighting to get around, he was suddenly carried above.
I think grace is like that.
So often I insist on walking in my own strength, and I grow too stubborn to let anyone help me. Somehow I've been programmed to believe that self-reliance equals independence when nothing could be further from the truth. I walk and stumble, trip, and bump my way through life, when all along my Father is trying to carry me. He's trying to help me. He's trying to love me, and I fight Him.
I want to walk. by myself. WHOLE WAY.
When I choose that, my problems and challenges can seem so intimidating and daunting. And yet I insist, even demand, the knee-eye view of life. I walk stubbornly, exhausted and worn-out, when infinite strength is right beside me.
When I climb on His shoulders, all my questions shrink.
My fears seem silly. My worries collapse in on themselves.
Oh, how small everything is in light of the bigness of my God!
His infinite wisdom. His loving ways. His passion for people.
Even in my seasons of change and big-decisions
I am still being carried on His shoulders.
And I wonder with a shiver of giddy anticipation-
can I even comprehend where He's taking me?