Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: CLEAR AS MUD (07/18/19)
- TITLE: Child's Eye View
By Janet Richey
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Finishing out our third year of homeschooling, “Field Trip Friday!” was born out of a need for a little hands-on learning and decompression. It had been a particularly long, exhausting year of school, and, familiar with his tone of voice, it was easy to take his assertion as an accusation.
Now here we stood, in this snake-infested swamp masquerading as a hiking trail, and the boy and I are at a stalemate. He is questioning every move I make, and I am angry, indignant, that he isn’t respecting my authority. So I do what any other self-respecting desperate mom would do; “I’m calling Daddy,”.
I look down at my cell phone, then up at the sky, searching for the reason that my call won’t go through. That lifeline has been lost in the Hemlock pines towering over me. Losing my balance, I take a step back into an ankle deep mud puddle and inexplicably, probably inappropriately, start to laugh. A full thirty second passes as my child’s anger shifts from a reluctant smile to laughter. A little levity is in order.
We continue to bicker the whole way out of that series of trails but not before stopping at this pond, surrounded by dense forest, that is gloriously illuminated by the afternoon sunlight. Taking in this demonstration of God’s creativity, we stand before it in a rare moment of companionable silence when he exclaims “Man! I bet that pond is crawling with snakes!”
Time to beat a hasty retreat. “Who’s hungry for ice cream?”
My son and I recall that day differently. While I vowed to never step foot into another square inch of woodlands without a college degree in map reading, he was lost in that intoxicating awe of being alone in a forest. While I was rushing through the trails; (as though it would get us less lost?), he was slowing down to look at salamanders darting in and out of the vernal pools that the heavy spring rains had created. I was trying to create the perfect hiking experience; he simply wanted to watch nature on the move.
“But ask the animals what they think-let them teach you; let the birds tell you what’s going on. Put your ears to the earth-learn the basics. Listen-the fish on the ocean will tell you their stories. Isn’t it clear that they all know and agree that God is sovereign, that he holds all things in his hands.” Job 12:7-9, The Message.
So often we get hung up on the academics. We are blindly driven by an agenda that God has no interest in. Sometimes it takes the unencumbered eyes of a child to show us what really matters.
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