This morning I sat and watched the curiosity of my baby girl as she pressed the buttons of a Playstation controller. She was determined to figure the thing out. She had no idea she was being watched because every bit of her attention was on the controller and the buttons she was attempting to familiarize herself with. Enthralled. Amazed. Determined.
I stopped to really think about how God wired us to be inquisitive. We are water-testers. Always anxious to get out there and have an adventure. Even as a child, the smallest thing can captivate us.
But while He gave us that appetite for curiosity He also gave us the ability to learn from the negative outcome the experience might produce.
As children, when an undesirable response occurs, we tend to gravitate away from the source of the discomfort. I think of my son, Wyatt, when he fell off the boat dock and into the water at the lake house. Or Henley, when she was bowled over by a dog twice her size. Or Lily when she she had to undergo so many X-rays as a little girl.
To this day Wyatt still has an aversion to water, Henley is afraid of dogs and Lily gets extremely anxious when a doctor has to examine her.
Experience is a teacher and we are the students. We withdraw from things that have harmed us.
So why is it that we so often embrace the very things that hurt us spiritually? The very things that leave us empty? We clothe ourselves with a world that treats us badly. It uses us for awhile and makes us feel comfortable. Secure. Even powerful, at times.
And then somewhere during the ride of our lives the cart derails from the tracks. We feel beaten and battered.
We shed tears of anger or hurt as our hearts become broken. We lament over the fact that we “made a mistake” and, after a good friend or two assures us that it wasn’t our fault, we inevitably climb back into the cart and do it all over again.
But there was no healing involved. No redemption or restoration. The brokenness turns to hardness and then we can’t see God through the petrified state of our hearts.
The world tempts us in order to fail us.
Reminds me of that old woman’s house in Hansel and Gretel. She used her home made of sweets and treats to entice little children in passing. That was never the part that got me, though. It was the old woman’s plan to fatten Hansel up so she could eat him.
Is life so different from that folk tale? I don’t think so. The world is fattening us up in order to devour us later when we’re unable to run. Our stamina will eventually collapse. How are we to run the race marked out for us if we have no strength to continue on?
We have a purpose while we are here and it’s not to seek to embrace something that is harmful to our spiritual walk. Common sense tells me to keep my hand away from the hot stove burner, the venomous snake, or walking out in front of a moving vehicle.
So why do we continue to embrace the world like it’s got something to offer?
It is a beautiful thing to finally learn from those past experiences. To allow God to heal the parts of my heart that have been shattered by the world and then hardened to a state of indifference.
We are to keep our eyes on Christ and keep running this race. And then our arms will embrace something wonderful. They will embrace a trophy worth having at the end…
Today I’m linking up with the following authors to share my story: