The boy and the slide.

Posted: June 25, 2009 in My Heart, Observations, and Rants

I had a great day of blessings yesterday. I had the opportunity to join my 8 year old for his first 18 hole round of golf. He did outstanding…and drove the cart quite well I may add. Shhhhhh. Don’t tell anybody that he drove the cart. And I got to see my youngest tackle the big water slide at our subdivision’s pool, thus conquering his fear of the “Big Slide”.
On Tuesday my little guy, 35 pounds of 5 year old grit and just completing his 4 week and some change “no swim” sentence due to a broken elbow (of which he broke being the dare devil he is) wanted so much to go down the water slide but was a bit afraid of it. He said it was “too big”. Of course, being the child psychologist I am, I tried to show him that the slide was not too big but that it was made of small segments. He didn’t quite fall for it. We went to the top and I did all I could to convince him that he should not let fear keep him from doing something he really wanted to do. Boy does that have implication and undertones all over the board…another time…another blog. I digress.
I spent the better part of 30 minutes pumping him up in the hopes of motivating him to go down the slide. I asked him, “Do you think God is bigger than that slide?” “Yes,” he answered. “And don’t you believe that if you ask Him to help you not be afraid, He will help you?”, I asked. “Yes”, he answered. “Then why don’t you go down the slide? You will love it!” I said like a coach trying to motivate his player. “Because I just don’t want to,” he replied. I accepted the fact that I will have to live with that. He will go down when he is ready. I knew it had to be his decision.
As I stated earlier, I had the opportunity to share in my oldest’s first 18 hole round of golf on Wednesday. On our way home, I got the message from my wife that my youngest was “ready to go down the slide and keep going down as long as we were at the pool.” No way was I missing this. We got to the pool and he jumped right in as usual. I reminded him that he was going to go down the slide. “Oh yeah,” he said as if it was a trivial thing that just slipped his mind, He jumped out of the water, put on his goggles, and headed up the many stairs to the top of the tower and the water slide. He waited his turn patiently and when it was his turn, he jumped right in to the rushing water and rode down like he had done it a hundred times. A few times into his multiple trips down the slide, he realized that he would go faster if he laid on his back. Well he did and there were a few times I thought he was headed over the side as his little body was tossed down the slide. Every trip down all you could see was a flash of white teeth and blonde hair. It was awesome. After a few more trips down, he headed over to the other section of the pool and played water football with the rest of the boys. It was just another day at the pool. Maybe for him, not for me.
Fear is a powerful thing. If we allow it to rule, it can keep us from experiencing some of the greatest blessings God has in store for us. And fear is not reserved for only the young. We know this. Nothing new and earth shattering here. But what I think so many of us often miss, me included, is that we never really overcome fear. Fear is there, always. Not knowing what’s on the other side of the door keeps us from opening it. But more importantly, the action associated with our attempt to get past something that scares us is not the true “overcoming” of the fear. Simply opening the door is not overcoming the fear of what may be behind the door. It is the act of “deciding to accept” what happens, regardless of the outcome of the action, that is the “overcoming” of fear. What happens if we don’t like what’s behind the door? If we are like most, we’d spend too much time complaining about actually opening the door rather than accepting that what is behind the door is what was supposed to be and that there was a clear and distinct reason for it. We simply need to look and listen for what that reason was. As believers grow in their faith, God’s “winks”(the incidents and occurrences unbelievers call coincidences but we know better) become more and more recognizable. That is when it gets fun.
God has a plan for our lives. All of us. While we are not necessarily brought into the loop on what that plan may be, as followers of Christ Jesus we have to have faith that His plan for our lives is perfect. And that whatever happens we accept it because it is His will. Romans 8:28 tells us that “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” I accept the results and what’s behind the door. I can hear Monty Hall now, “Let’s see what’s behind door #3!” Oh boy. I just dated myself.

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