Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Distorted view- part 2
I recently posted some thoughts I had on what I referred to as having a distorted view. I am visiting this topic again with some further thoughts/insights and sort of 'talking outloud' here. I welcome your thoughts and comments as well. I think dialogue is half the fun of blogging. So feel free to join me when you're done reading this.
The pictures you see here are all of Crew with the exception of the top photo. That one is Teagan at around 7 months and I just share that alongside these photos because I think it's fun to compare features between babies. She and Crew are definitely related! I think they have a few similar personality traits too. They are both a bit feisty, lovable and so full of happiness. I am blessed for sure, to be the mom of them and all their siblings in between. =)
The pictures of Crew outside were taken a day ago and I am just amazed at how grown up he seems all of a sudden since his top 2 teeth have come in. He's losing that baby look so fast! Then there are the pictures of him at the gate. He is trying so hard to figure out how to get past it and head to the downstairs and play alongside of the rest of the kids. He does get to go down and play for short periods of time when I'm supervising him, but there are way too many 'trouble toys' for him to get into if left on his own, that it's not safe for him to be there. But in his mind, he doesn't care about the dangers. He just wants to get down there and play! Oh how he hangs on that gate and even does a little dance sometimes with the excitement he builds just thinking about playing beyond those stairs!
What you can't see is that just around the corner from the gate are piles and piles of toys that are totally safe and available to him whenever he wants to crawl over to them and get his hands on them. There are books and balls and stacking things and rattles and toy phones and chewy things and jiggy things and a whole lot more. But he's focused and persistent at times to just sit or stand at the gate and forego the fun he could be having just because he wants something past those wooden bars.
Herein lies the lesson of having a distorted view. How often in my life I see that I am just like Crew standing at the 'gate' and I even shake the bars and throw little fits sometimes wanting something I can't have. It's been true in my past and I'm sure it will happen again sometime. It's so easy to get 'hung up' on something we want- maybe it's even something really good- like a mate or a baby or a big job promotion or a new house or a spot on a scrap design team or any number of things. Have you ever found yourself disappointed or let down or feeling frustrated that life isn't going your way despite all the measures you are taking to make your dream happen? We ALL do it. We get our hearts set on something and for some of us, we get so caught up in the pursuit of that one thing that we let all the other 'good things' that surround us go unnoticed just around the corner simply because we want 'what's beyond the gate'.
We even lose things we hold dear because we are trying so hard to get that one thing. I know in my own life I have had selfish ambitions and have followed my own heart rather than waiting on God's time for what I truly need in life. He always knows best what I need and what I can handle, just as I know Crew isn't ready to take on a flight of stairs or play with some toys with tiny pieces. Crew thinks I'm just punishing him or denying him fun and good things. But the fact is that I am actually protecting him and giving him "freedom" by putting up a gate and setting clear boundaries.
That's what God does in our lives too. He puts roadblocks and 'gates' in our lives from time to time until we learn and/or grow into the person He is molding us to be. Sometimes it seems like He is punishing us by not giving us what we want, when in fact, He is likely trying to prepare us for what is yet to come. Does that make sense?
Here's another example. Crew would be happy if I gave him a hot dog in a bun when his siblings get one at their meal, but could he handle it as this stage in his life? No! He would likely choke and put himself in great danger. But it looks to him like something he wants and the other kids like it, so to him it is confusing. I was thinking about how often things in life seem confusing to me. Things seem unfair or unjust or simply 'messed up' according to the way I think things should go or be. But in all likelihood, from God's perspective there is a good reason for the way things are playing out around us and maybe they are even for a good purpose. I am learning that I need to quit standing and banging on a gate when stuff comes up that doesn't make sense in my heart and mind. At those times I need to trust that just as I know what's best for Crew and all my kids, God knows what's best for me. He has my greatest interests at heart and wants nothing more than to prepare me and shape me for what is yet to come. I can get hung up and miss out on the fun laying all around me, or I can surrender myself and trust Him in all things.
Let me tell you, walking away from life's "gates" is where I find the most freedom and joy. I can mope around and wish things were different or let go and live in the moment. It's not always easy though. The issues in our lives are so "big" compared to the toys and fun awaiting Crew downstairs. But the principle is the same. There is goodness all around us. We can live and grow and I do know that God swings open those gates and blesses us so often too. One day soon Crew will be crawling up and down those stairs and he will be ready to tackle a whole new set of challenges. I hope that like him I am ready to take on new challenges and set my heart and mind on things besides closed gates. I want to be ready and willing to do whatever it is that God puts on my heart for His glory and purpose. I never want to lose sight of the fact that God knows what's best and He is faithful to us when we wait on Him. I just wish growing up wasn't so hard sometimes. =)