Our team at work is given the daily opportunity to gather together for a time of prayer and devotional. We take turns leading. George is our Tuesday leader. He is a former youth pastor who has lots of good stories, and that pastor’s way of getting the message across. I sat and listened as he spoke of his seven year old daughter and a time at the park. On this particular visit, George sat on the sidelines watching his girls on the playground. His youngest daughter determined that she was going to climb up the windy, tubular slide instead of sliding down. George sat and watched as she attempted this feat.
After twenty or so times, George decided to step in and gently assist his daughter all the way up the slide. He tied this story together with God and His help in our lives.
I was left with a few thoughts.
We parents have been given an awesome, daunting task that we are somehow able to achieve. Our role as parents is to let our children grow and learn by experiences and situations they encounter. Our parenting is sometimes trial and error, right in sync with our kids’ abilities to navigate life. We inherently know when to step in and when to hold back, without messing them up too badly. That is our hope, anyway.
We’re like the Father in that way. He allows us to choose which path to take when we encounter various situations. He holds back oftentimes, allowing us the gift of making mistakes, thus learning the lesson well.
And here’s what I love…Galilee, George’s seven year old daughter, sets her mind to the task. She is all in. She is not deterred in her endeavor, but I’m pretty sure she knows that her father is right there watching. She knows she can ask him for help, but she chooses not to.
When George walked over and placed his hand on her back, giving her the extra boost to get her beyond the point of sliding back down, he didn’t say a word. He didn’t announce his arrival. He didn’t ask her if she wanted his help. He simply reached out and gave her a hand.
Sometimes it’s best to ask for help. But sometimes it’s good to keep focused on the goal set before us and continue to run the race, knowing that the Father is there, watching and willing to help us finish what we have set out to do.
And sometimes it’s a good thing to step in with a heart of compassion and love, and gently lend a hand. Working together, not differentiating the separate tasks, but achieving the goal as one.
The love of a parent and the faith of a child is a glimpse of the Father’s love.