(PS, that's not Christian, or anyone I know)
Christian just learned how to walk! Yay!
After he turned one I thought he would start walking, at least a little, but nope. A month went by, two months, three months... then he would walk if someone held his hands, at least for a bit, and he would happily walk while pushing things around, like chairs or a walker toy. Then, a few weeks ago Ben stood him on the floor in the kitchen and stood about three steps away from him with his arms stretched out. I had done that a bunch of times, but he would just sit down and crawl to me. Here Ben was the incentive. Daddy was there waiting with arms wide open and hope in his eyes. Christian took his first steps while holding his father's gaze. After his first strong steps he was met with a big embrace and joyful cries! We celebrated for a minute, and then what do you think Ben did?
He put Christian back on the floor standing up and again scooted back from him to get Christian to walk again.
Because Ben knew he could do it. Christian knew he could do it too. Ben had put him back in a proper spot, standing upright, not laying down, but once again he took a few steps back and reached out for Christian. This time was different though. This time once Christian got close to him Ben did what every parent does, he scooted back a step or two more so Christian would get the hang of it and proceed to go the distance.
I've been thinking about this lately as I feel that the Lord is stretching me spiritually, which is life, not just spirit. I will start to feel like I'm finally on a good spiritual plane, even the highest I've ever been on before, when after a bit it feel like I'm increasing in distance. In a sense I feel that God has taken a step or two back from me. How frustrating when I have worked hard to get where I was! But I'm not left in a bad place, unless it's from my own faults or rebellion. God has left me standing upright, and still has His arms stretched out for me with hope shining in his eyes. This time I know I can do it, and He knows I can do it (even if I doubt myself from time to time), and he wants to see me walk farther, to improve, to get the motions down and stretch myself, and once I've walked that distance then he'll embrace me with cries of joy and triumph... then I think I can expect that He'll once again put me back down, standing upright and take an extra step back, and each time I thirst more mightily for that embrace and jubilation because with each sacrifice and effort it's so much sweeter and more potent. Because He is my incentive. With all the peace, understanding, and joy that comes with it. And soon I'll be able to walk well on my own, and then even run. Oh joy!
My, oh my, the things that parenting has taught me.