Let me just tell you about the trip I had to Wal*Mart the other day. I’m not a huge fan of the place anyways, but this trip was exceedingly AWEFUL, more so than normal. Every parent’s nightmare.
I had to get a few groceries so I loaded up the kids and thought I would get it done while my hubby was still at work. We were in the store, walking up and down the aisles. Everything was going as planned. Riley had opted for the option of walking beside the cart, which I generally allow her to do as long as she stays close to me, and Jase was sitting in the child seat in front of the cart.
I was making a careful decision on which brand of toilet paper to purchase and that’s when it happen. She took off. Just like that. She ran down to the other end of the aisle. In my best “I mean business” parenting voice I warned her to get her little booty back beside me, BUT with an ornery smile and a quick step she moved around the corner and out of my eyes view. I dropped what I was doing and hurriedly moved to the next aisle where I spotted her, but she continued to run. Wide eyed, laughing hysterically, wind blowing through her wild hair. She wouldn’t stop! AND, I couldn’t catch her. AND, she wouldn’t listen to my pleas to come back where I could see her. It was clear that she thought it was a big game and I could not convince her otherwise.
Eventually I lost her! I COULD NOT FIND MY CHILD! So, I begin frantically searching. The people who had been passing us up and down the aisles also realized what was going on and several of them began quickly walking through the store helping me look for her. At one point I remember saying to a couple who had passed by me several times “Could you please help me find my child? I cannot find her!” I’m sure they could sense the desperation in my voice.
One of the employees eventually spotted her in an aisle clear across the store from where this fiasco started and chased her down. As the lady brought her to me, you could tell Riley, with a big grin on her face, still did not understand.
You see at the young age of 3, Riley felt the thrill. The excitement of running free up and down the aisles; her contagious giggles rolling on each time she saw a glimpse of my face. It was fun. It was exciting. It felt liberating.
But what she didn’t see or understand was the bigger picture. The picture of danger. The picture of what could have easily happened. The picture of how quickly someone could have grabbed up that little beautiful girl never to see her again. She didn’t see the hurt or anxiety she was causing me. She did not see the possibility of a negative outcome. She only saw the immediate. The fun. The pleasure.
As her parent, I SAW THE BIGGER PICTURE.
BUT, how often is that us. How often do we, enthralled in the pleasure and the thrill of our sinful nature, forgetting the bigger picture; the picture of pain that we may be causing others, the picture of the future and the negative impact that our immediate choices will have, run forward away from our Father into the unknown. Running wide eyed, with a big smile, enjoying the sinful pleasures that last only for a time. We forget that our Father knows something that we don’t. He sees the bigger picture. He understands what impact our immediate choices have upon our life, upon our future, and upon those we love.
Watching Riley run was a good reminder to me of a some things.
#1 Sometimes our Heavenly Father sets out guidelines that we don’t understand. At times it may even seem like He is just trying to keep us from having a good time, right? But, the truth is He has our best interest in mind, just as I had the best interest in mind for my child.
#2 The pleasures of sin are exciting for a time, but they always come with a consequence.
#3 When we are out running, choosing to be outside of God’s will for our lives, He is right there. He never stops waiting for us to turn around and run back into His arms, the place of comfort and safety.
So today, stop running, remember that God has your best interest in mind, and find yourself at rest in the safety of His arms.