Friday, May 05, 2006

Warning: There Is A Moral To This Story

Last night I didn’t go to bed until about 11:00, and it was probably 11:30 before I actually fell asleep.

You can imagine my delight when, around 3 AM, I heard Alex saying, “Mama. Mama? MAMA!” over the monitor. I did my best to ignore him, because I could tell he wasn’t in great distress, but after 10 minutes of listening to various inflections of That Name My Child Calls Me, I knew I was going to have to go to upstairs if I had any hope of sleeping ever again in my whole life ever.

When I got to his room, Alex was restless. Normally he’ll go right back to sleep if I crawl in the bed with him, but last night he was undone, for some reason. He tossed, and turned, and wiggled, and kicked, and after I finally made my peace with the fact that it was just one of those nights, I curled up on my side, right on the edge of his bed, and started to doze off.

After what could’ve been 2 minutes or 20 minutes – I have no idea – I woke up because it was becoming increasingly clear that Alex was standing on me. Even though I was too groggy for words, I managed to focus my eyes long enough to realize that yes, my child was standing on top of my legs, and yes, he seemed to have an end goal in mind, but oh, I was so tired, and I went back to sleep.

But the child, he was persistent. A few seconds later he was standing on my legs again, then pushing on my arms, then trying to move the top half of my body, and some part of my brain recognized that he was trying to work his way around me, that somehow I was in his way. So I scooted away from the edge of the bed – still on my side, mind you – made some room for the little man, and he practically fell onto his side, snuggled right up against me, and fell sound asleep right away.

And I thought, “he could’ve just asked me to scoot over.”

It’s a constant source of wonder to me that so much of childrearing is a metaphor for my relationship with God. Last night was just one more example in an ever-growing stack (can you actually “stack” metaphors or examples? I think not, but by now you know and understand my limitations with figurative language).

Anyway, I have thought all morning about my tendency to try to handle circumstances in my own strength. Even when I know where I’m trying to go, what my "end goal" is, I’ll take the longer, more difficult path in the name of “independence” or “self-sufficiency.” I try to move things on my own, try to manipulate a situation as best I can…but in doing that I rarely get to a place that feels safe, that feels secure.

All the while, God must be looking at me and thinking, “Child, you only have to ask, and I will cover you with love and protection.”

Just for the asking, He will comfort me and hold me close.

And that’s what I’ve been thinking about this morning.


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