I got to spend this day at the indoor water park with my three daughters, my son-in-law, my two grandchildren, and my friend/ex-husband. What an exhausting yet exhilarating day. Much of my time was spent hanging out at the baby pool area so that everybody else could go on the water slides. I got to watch my granddaughter and grandson splash themselves silly and wear out a path up to the froggy slide. Up and down, up and down. Over and over and over. While I was watching this endless procession of slide merriment, I got to have some unintended people-watching time as well.
This really got me thinking about trust; trusting what we cannot see but also trusting what’s right in front of our faces. Some of these smaller children were asked to trust their parents to be at the bottom of the slide to catch them before they hit the water. Parents promised. They smiled. They reassured. They clapped. They gave the thumbs-up. The children immediately smiled as well and were all for it. Most of the sliding happened uneventfully and inspired squeals and screams as the kids felt encouraged to do it again and again and again. With each successful slide and catch, the child’s trust in their grown-up grew. My own grandson was excited to have his turn and once at the top of the froggy slide, he whooshed right down and spilled out into my arms. I caught him and he jumped right out of them and was back up the steps for another go. This went on for a good ten minutes and finally he said, “I do it myself.” I stayed close, proud of him for feeling like he could do this on his own, but ready to help. He shot down the slide and landed with a splash. He stood up quickly, spit out some water, and came right to me for a hug. After the hug and my reassurance that he was okay, he got right back to it. He was a man on a mission now!
Then there came the cute little girl in the Shopkins, one-piece, bathing suit. She eagerly got to the top of the slide and her mother knelt in the one foot of water at the bottom. “Come on baby, I’m right here. I promise I’ll catch you,” her mother said. Baby pushed off and came sliding down. Mom put out one arm and caught part of a shoulder as Baby’s head went under. Mom pulled her out almost instantaneously but the look on Baby’s face said, “WTH! How did you let the water get up my nose?” Mom loved on Baby and helped her cough and sputter the last of the water out. Then Mom put Baby back on the top of the slide and said, “Come on, I promise, I’m right here. No more water in your face.” Baby did not look happy or trusting this time. Baby looked a little nervous. She’d already been let down. Literally. But, being a kid, she tried again. Sliding down with the gushing water, Baby landed across her mother’s arm, face first, in the water. More coughing, more sputtering. More apologies. This happened one last time and Baby, through her tears, said, “All done.”
Where should we place our trust? These precious children placed their trust in their grown-up family members. When that trust was validated, it grew and spread and gave the kids the feeling that they could keep going. When that trust was disproved, the child gave up. Isn’t this so true of our grown-up relationships? We put our trust in so many people. Our parents, our spouses, our friends, our children. They all have our trust initially, but when time and again, our trust is broken, we tend to want to be like Baby and say, “All done.” When we put our trust in God, it is nurtured and rewarded over and over again so that we are emboldened to realize that we can stand, we can breathe, we can walk, and we can even love again. While our earthly trust can let us down at times, our heavenly trust is infallible. Give it a try.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways, submit to him and he will make your paths straight.