My 10 month old is learning to walk. She has well mastered crawling and standing up on things and is now moving on to the exciting, and much feared toddling stage. Yesterday I was watching her negotiate this new found skill. She was walking behind a cart type toy with wheels and was SO excited. She would stop, look at me, wrinkle her nose and squeal - very cute! Then she would let go and sit down and stand up - unassisted. I watched her do maybe four "baby squats." Stand up - sit down - stand up - sit down. I began to think about how I would feel doing that - I think my legs would buckle after the first two, and here she was doing this and finding joy in working her muscles and learning a new aspect of her abilities. I thought, why would she do that? I never would willingly do squats without a ton of encouragement or a whole lot of prodding. I think she does them simply because she knows that she can now, and couldn't a couple days ago.
Then I started think about my spiritual walk and how many abilities and gifts God gives up and really wants us to discover and learn. I've obviously known all along that Macey would walk someday, that sooner or later she would be in the running, keeping up with and chasing down her siblings. I'm not sure this has always been obvious to her. In fact, I can imagine she has often looked at Kylie and Caleb running wild and wanting with all her might to join them, but she just wasn't ready. She didn't have the practice or the coordination yet.
My thoughts then when to last Sunday at church. During worship a guy started running laps around the room (check out Tom's blog site for a more detailed account - http://emancipationofthefreed.blogspot.com). Anyway, by 3 year old was really taken by watching Tyler run. She asked if she could run, too. I said "of course," and off she went. Then my two year old started running, walking, jumping in the line too. I felt tears in my eyes and didn't quite comprehend why. As I've been mulling this over in my mind and heart I think I've realized a couple things. Kylie didn't care that she was is 20 years younger than Tyler, she didn't care that she couldn't run as fast or that she was smaller. She just wanted to run. She just wanted join in what she saw happening.
Every time she would pass by me, she would stick her little fist in the air and say "Mommy, I'm doing it." Wow - that really made the tears start coming. I think I was seeing a prophetic picture of her future- that she has such determination, such drive to join what God is doing, that not much will hold her back. I also think I was seeing her run as a prophetic picture of myself. My fears often hold me back and though I've been walking with the Lord for 15+ years, I often still see myself as 3. I am afraid of falling, I am afraid of not keeping up. But there are so many people around that are cheering me, us, on that I should just get up and go!
I know there are times when I look at those who are more mature in the areas of their walk with God than I am and want desperately to join them, to run with them. Perhaps I do have that ability, that calling that will be developed after a while. Perhaps I just need to willingly do spiritual squats - they may be difficult and I will most likely fall on my bum a few times and may not always keep up - but, hey, my Daddy is there chearing me on and holding my hands while I learn to walk, even run!
"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us , looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the sham, and has set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 11:1-2