the adventure of a two year old
a couple of days ago i was sitting at this computer in my home. i was typing up a blog (i think) and my oldest son was sitting next to me playing some computer game. we were waiting to go somewhere. my wife was finishing up her last minute get-ready-details and my daughter was looking at books. while matt and i were at the computer, matt looked up and saw my youngest, luke, running down the sidewalk in front of my home. he had found matt's old aluminum baseball bat. it was scratched, dinged and scuffed from the many baseball games in our neighborhood. luke did not care, nor do i think he even noticed. he's only 2. i asked matt to go chase him down. as matt approached him, luke stopped and began to swing the bat. not at matthew, but at the imaginary pitch that was coming his way. i think he hit a home run. at least that's what i choose to believe.
the larger point to this story, beyond the happy memory, is this: does luke feel so safe with his home environment that he feels comfortable living our home, without supervision or permission and swing the baseball bat? is there a place of private security and safety in him that actually releases to him the vision of going alone and swinging the bat? i wonder if at times, i am missing the intimacy with God that i have and so i never adventure to swing the spiritual bat. have i lost the ability to imagine because my mind is soiled with fears, doubt and what-ifs? how do we as adults and followers of jesus live in the reality of God's safety and security so that when we adventure from home (the place of hiddenness and comfort) we go swing the bat with boldness and courage.
i laughed when i saw him outside. i was also immediately aware of the dangers. as a parent the potential dangers never leave your mind. but how do i help him be free? how do i help encourage the imagination that will lead him to dangerous places and risky adventures?
i know....he's only 2. but at that age, i feel it important to keep him safe, secure, protected and loved. but i also want him to risk and confront his fears (such as the stuffed mickey mouse, larger than him that we saw at the mall christmas shopping.) mom and dad are always there to catch him, just as God is always there to catch us.
i had another observation about my oldest, matt. i found it particularly interesting how he noticed luke outside. matt knows the danger "out there." he knows the risks. yet, he willingly and joyfully went to get him. i think matt is very pastoral and sensitive. i think God was letting me see a bigger picture of what is the destiny of my two sons. adventure, love, community, safety, risk and courage. my two sons are fantastic. i love them deeply. may God help me raise them to a place where they are bold enough to leave home and tackle the imaginary pitches in life.
Swing the bat Sons! Never go down looking at life's pitches, but swing. too many people strike out because they are afraid of striking out. swing....always swing!
until next time....