“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” – Angela Schwindt
When I first found out I was going to be a dad, I began to dream about all the things I wanted to teach my son. What I had not prepared for were all the things my son would teach me.
One of those lessons was learned this past Saturday. My wife and I, along with some youth from our church, went on a spur of the minute kayaking trip. Since it was going to be a short 2-hour trip, we decided to take our son along with us. Our son has already taken a few swim lessons and life jackets were provided, so we weren’t too concerned about safety but we were a little apprehensive about the fact that our little man doesn’t like to sit still for very long. A 2-hour trip may not seem like much but when you are in a kayak, with an active 1.5-year-old, that threatens to flip over with the slightest movement, it can seem like an eternity.
As I got into the kayak and positioned my son in from of me, I worried that once we paddle out to the middle of the lake he would begin to move about or try and put his hand in the water (something he loves to do) and the both of us would be going for a swim.
As we paddle further away from shore, I watched him intently for sudden movements. I was pleasantly surprised that he leaned back into my chest and just calmly took in the beautiful summer day. Nothing phased him, not the water dripping from the kayak paddle, not even the couple of accidental knocks of the paddle to his head (it was a little more difficult to paddle with a toddler in your lap than I thought it would be), not even the slight rapids we made our way through.
I was amazed at how my son had absolutely no worries, he fully trusted in me as his dad and knew that I wouldn’t allow any harm to come to him. He was completely at ease and safe in my arms.
As I reflected on how great he was being for his first time out in a kayak, I was reminded of Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. 7 And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].”
This is where the lesson began. His actions that day taught me a simple but profound lesson. Just as he was able to put complete trust in me, I too should be able to lean back into the arms of God, enjoy the the life He has given and allow the peace that passes all understanding to envelop me.
I spend so much time worrying about the things of this life that I have no control over, that I don’t allow myself to bask in the blessings that God has given me.
Every day my son teaches me more and more about what it means to be a child of Christ and to have a deeper understanding of Matthew 18:3-4, “… ‘I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless you repent [that is, change your inner self—your old way of thinking, live changed lives] and become like children [trusting, humble, and forgiving], you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever [a]humbles himself like this child is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'”
The teacher has truly become the student and I couldn’t be prouder of my son or my humbled by him.
I encourage you to take the time and learn from your children. See if there is something that God is trying to show you through their young lives. If you do, I think you will be as pleasantly surprised as I was.
**All scriptures in this post are from the Amplified Edition of the Bible**