I have always loved children.
For 3 years, after i finished high school, my mother and I ran our own daycare centre. After that i joined the Au Pair America program and worked in New York for a year, and after that i became an au pair in Johannesburg, working for 3 different families over 8 years… So watching kids play in the park was something i did on a weekly basis, at least.
Normally the kids would run off to play i would set out our little picnic spot where i could see the majority of the park at a glance, in order to easily keep an eye on them. Sometimes the little boy would climb higher than my heart could handle, and i’d rush over to be a safety net, just ‘in case’. Sometimes the little girl would wonder off a little too far and i’d have to call her back to where i could see her. Sometimes my help would be refused … only to end in tears, and sometimes I would have to encourage a child do things they weren’t confident enough to do their own.
It’s not hard to recognise the similarities between a guardian’s relationship with a child, and God’s relationship with us.
Imagine the park is the world, and we are the children. So much to see, and do. Ours to enjoy and look after. We can go off and explore, try things out, challenge ourselves, interact with people, nature and animals. Sometimes we slip, sometimes we fall, sometimes we meet a bully or an unfriendly dog, sometimes we do something we thought we couldn’t do and we grow stronger and more confident. And every-so-often we need someone to look at … someone who can encourage us to go on when we feel insecure or afraid, or call us back when we’re drifting away. Someone to hold our hand, or warn us of dangers because their eyes see further than ours, and they know the outcome of our decisions and the consequences of our actions.
We need to live our lives like those kids in the park!!
Now any well behaved, disciplined child will obey the commands set out by his/her caregiver and the rules of the park itself. They’ll listen when they are being spoken to, and respond when being called… but instead of worrying about whether or not every little decision we make is in God’s will for our lives, we can live confidently, free to be adventurous and courageous, challenging our abilities and fears, knowing that God is always watching over us, ready to give us the guidance and encouragement we need!
“I have come that they may have life,and have it to the full”