(Originally written 2011)
Yesterday Shawn, his dad, RJ, and I went for a walk in the woods behind my in-law’s house. Shawn was reminiscing about life there growing up, and even commented, “This is where my love of adventure started.” RJ came along because his other option was jumping on the trampoline with his siblings, and he hates that. So he decided to trudge along with us. He was quite a trooper, and ended up enjoying the walk. We saw a pond full of beavers and their dams, raccoon and deer tracks, turkey feathers that quickly became a treasure and even a brand new baby deer bedded down in the field outside the woods. It was a wonderful walk through nature!
At one point we were walking through a path that was filled with pricker bushes. I got stuck on a few and Shawn helped me out, then RJ was feeling intimidated to walk by them. Shawn started tromping down the path in front of him and told RJ to follow his path. Whenever he was nervous he would look back at me, and I would simply remind him to follow his dad’s footsteps and he would stay safe and pricker free! When we got to the clearing and saw that the field was higher than RJ’s height, Shawn put him on his shoulders so that he could see easily and feel safe again.
It’s an obvious parallel, but when I saw it played out in real life with RJ and his dad I was reminded again of how much my Dad loves me. How sometimes he allows me to wander off and explore and figure things out, but he is nearby watching. Other times he is tromping down the path in front, and as long as I am careful those prickers won’t get me – or at least not to the point of destruction. Then there are those times (often) when I am in over my head and he carries me so I can see clearly and feel safe. I am thankful for this relationship. And I am thankful for a God who takes the simple, beautiful things in life to remind me of the things that should be obvious.