Our 2-years-old granddaughter loves to play in mud puddles. She runs through them, stomps her feet to make splashes, creates waves with her hands, digs into the muddy bottoms, and casts rocks into them. Her first order of business when we go outdoors is to check each depression to see if there is enough water remaining for one last splash.
The puddles in which our granddaughter plays are not very deep. She may get wet and muddy, but she stands no chance of drowning.
A couple of days ago, her father and I took her to a pond. When we exited the truck, the little one joyfully exclaimed, “Puddle! Puddle!” I hovered over her the whole time, trying to stay between her and the pond. Had I not done so, she would have readily run into the deep water.
Our granddaughter’s childish outlook and wisdom about life did not allow her to understand the differences between her play puddles and the huge “puddle.” In her mind, the pond simply presented lots more opportunities for fun and excitement. She thought she had everything under control. She did not recognize the extreme variations between the depth of her mud puddles and the massive body of water.
Watching the world’s tragic stories reported by the mass media; reading rants and opinions outlining solutions to the world’s problems; listening to the members of the older, wiser generation as they opine back and forth as to the best plan of actions for the country; and encountering social media threads written by people who are drowning in the cares of this world; remind me that when it comes to dealing with this world, we are all like 2-year-olds.
We all have our own mud puddles in which we feel safe. We love to splash and play in our shallow water holes. We feel safe and in control. We are in our little section of the world. We are home.
Then, we are introduced to the pond; the ocean of this world. In our minds, it is just a bigger version of our puddles at home. We believe that it is no deeper than our play pools. So, we try to rush out into it, believing that we have everything under control. But we don’t. Nor can we. For the world is far deeper, and far bigger than we can imagine. So, we panic. We lose control. And sometimes, we drown.
Thankfully, we have someone available to help us deal with the world. We have someone to help us understand its vastness and depth. We have someone to help us differentiate between its potential for beneficial good, and its potential for dangerous evil. We have someone available to help us learn when and how to joyfully play within this world, and when to back away in respectful fear.
“25 My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word!
26 When I told of my ways, you answered me; teach me your statutes!
27 Make me understand the way of your precepts and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
28 My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word!
29 Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law!
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your rules before me.
31 I cling to your testimonies, O Lord let me not be put to shame!
32 I will run in the way of your commandment when you enlarge my heart!” (Psalm 119:25-32) ESV
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