Friday, October 10, 2008

Lessons with Lydie

We've been doing a lot of late afternoon swimming. Our pool is very deep, the shallow end is too deep for Hope or Noah to be able to stand. Each day this week I have joined the kids in the pool to splash around and cool off before dinner. Lydie will not hear of watching, she makes it clear she wants in the pool and in on the action.

It has been interesting to watch her in the water. She sees the big kids flinging themselves through the air and sees how they kick and are able to just GO. She thinks she is a big kid.

Each of the last four days she has gotten in holding tightly to my neck. About 30 seconds in the water and she is pushing away from me as if she does not need my help. I resist her push. I hold firmly onto her even though she really does not want my protection. I don't want to watch her sink; I prefer to help keep her afloat. After five or ten minutes of struggling against me to be given a chance to swim free of my grip, I have released my hold on her to let her try it on her own.

No surprises, of course she sinks in immediately and drinks a giant gulp of swimming pool. She comes up sputtering and coughing, and gasping for air. After it happened again today I thought, Huh - this kid is a slllloooow learner. The last fifteen minutes in the pool were spent holding onto my arms or neck and remembering how much it hurt trying to do it alone.

Today as the situation repeated itself for the fourth day in a row it occurred to me that this is often what my relationship with God looks like. He is there to hold me,He wants me to depend on Him and His wisdom and understanding of the situation in which I "swim" - He would prefer to keep me close and guide me. I forget that He loves me, He knows my limits and He wants to offer His help. I push Him away. I think I can do it on my own. I try it; I sink. I return to Him, sputtering and sorry ... until the next time, when I forget it all over again.