"Let a child take you for a week every week." - Max LucadoMy Baptist Church had a (dry) tailgate before my college's Homecoming football game. Amber wanted to take little Abby to the parade. I figured my six year old boyfriend would enjoy it, too.
Several weeks ago it came out that this busy six year old has three girlfriends. I asked if I could be number four. His father applauded him for working the college girls. He was too embarrassed to look at me all day. I think that means yes.
I knew getting him to go to the parade with me was a long shot but it was worth a try. At his father's insistence, he came. The four of us walked (ok, Amber carried Abby) to what we thought was the parade route only to discover we were on the wrong side of the soccer field. Even at their slowest speed my long legs move twice as fast as this six year old's little legs. I didn't want him to get lost in the crowd. I also realized he'd still a bit uncomfortable with me. I kept a close eye on him and my hand at a level where he could grab it if he so desired.
The closer we got to the parade, the closer he got to me. When we stopped, he reached up and took my hand. He then reached up with his other hand and grabbed hold. We watched the parade together, my right hand held captive in both of his.
I was no longer jealous of Amber with the toddler. I had a six year old comfortable enough to grab my hand with both hands. Maybe he was afraid the animals on the floats were going to jump off. Maybe he was afraid I was going to wander off and leave him. Maybe he was lost but he knew I wasn't; I knew where his parents were. All the way back, he held me hand with one hand and stuck so close I had to step around him to move. I didn't mind.
Is that how we should be with God? Our inclination, especially at first, is to wander nearby God. As we walk, we realize He knows where we're going. And we don't. We step closer and closer to Him. We link hands and let Him show us the way. He leads; we follow closely and (sometimes) obediently.
When my "boyfriend" had my hand, my face had a smile. I loved walking hand in hand with him. I wanted to introduce him to everyone we passed, I steered him clear of hot grilles, I returned him safely to his parents. If I can feel that much joy from walking with a six year old who may or may not claim to be my boyfriend (my vote is on not), how much more joy does God feel when we walk with Him? God takes pride in calling us His children. He does not steer us clear of all trials and turbulence but He does walk with us all of the way. With His shield of protect, nothing happens to us without His knowledge. That's more than I could promise my "boyfriend."