“Watch out here it comes. Jump!” We all grab the rope and swing across the ravine that is quickly filling with lava, barely making it to the other side.
“Help! I’m falling!” I cry, as I lose my balance and start swinging away from our secure landing spot. The rope is caught and I get pulled back to safety.
“There’s a T-Rex coming!” Our scout exclaims, looking out from our look out spot.
“Oh no! Did it see us?”
“We have to get these doors closed!”
“Oomph! They won’t budge”
“We’re going to have to make a run for it!”
“To the tires!” All three of us jump down from the hay bales and run across the barn hiding behind a stack of tires.
We silently wait while the T-Rex tries to sniff us out and finally, not finding us, makes its way downstairs.
“Do you think it’s safe?”
“I don’t know. Let’s wait a little longer.”
“I hear it down below. I think, if we’re carefully, we can sneak out around it.”
We slowly start maneuvering our way across the floor and down the stairs. We just get to the bottom, when out of nowhere the T-Rex sticks its head out of a stall and we all scream.
“RUN!” We race as fast as we can out of the barn.
“This way!” Our leader exclaims, pointing the way to our hideout.
“Do you think we lost him?” We all look around determining where the beast could be.
“I think that’s him over there. Run!”
“No. We lost him. Let’s walk for a bit.” Our leader says, as we all try and catch our breath making our way to the log pile.
Once we arrive, the guys go and pick out the best looking guns they can find. I stay back and try and prepare our “home nest” for the night. As I rearrange sticks and bark, I hear our leader call out, “We’re going hunting. We’ll be back before nightfall, but don’t let anything in!”
After a while, the boys get back. Of course, our fearless leader, has a couple of rabbits with him, along with a deer, some pheasants and a few fish. We quickly put together a stew and sit down to eat. Once the food is devoured we lay down for the night.
A couple minutes later, our leader bolts upright. Looking out a window he exclaims, “There’s something coming!”
“What is it?”
“It’s a Pteranodon!” Our leader say’s pointing his gun through a hole in the sticks.
“There’s another one over there!” My brother shouts, pointing out another hole.
“Oh no! What are we going to do?”
“We’re going to have to move camps.” Our leader replies, still peering out through the logs.
“Over there,” he directs. “In that groove of trees right there. When I say go, you guys make a run for it and I’ll hold them off until you get there.”
We carefully make our way out of the hideout; crawling over one log and sliding under another until we’re almost in the clear and ready to run.
“Ready?! Go, go, go!” He yells.
We hear him start firing off shots, as we race as fast as our legs will carry us to the trees looming ahead. Making it safely, we turn around to see how our leader is doing. Stillness and silence emanates from the scene before us.
“We’d he go?”
“Did it get him?
Panic starts to set in as we scan the area looking for where he might have went.
“I’ll go look for him.” My brother volunteers as he sets out through the trees to get a better view.
I continue to scan the area, wondering if I should try and go too. About when I decide to take off as well, I hear a snap of a twig behind me. Spinning around I see our leader come back holding his arm, which must have been injured in the battle.
“Where’d your bother go?”
“He went looking for you.” I point in the opposite direction.
“Well come on, let’s go find him.” We head off together into the trees, soon to catch up with him and continue our adventure.
I always have to smile, every time I see a kid holding a stick up to the sky, shooting down imaginary beasts, who must be threatening their life, because it reminds me so much of my own childhood. All the time I spent with my younger brother and our “fearless leader in arms,” fighting off dinosaurs, escaping over raging streams of lava, exploring, building, swinging, racing… countless hours of fun just playing together with our imaginations.
Now, as I watch my daughter start to dive into her own world of imagining, I can’t help but take a step back and remember all the fun times I had growing up. I occasionally find myself wishing my daughter would just grow up, so I don’t have to explain a hundred “why?” or “what’s that?” questions, clean up all her messes, or walk as slowly to the park. I’m reminded, though, it’s my responsibility and privilege to teach and train up my children in the way that they should go. I need to let them be kids; make messes, explore the outdoors, occasionally challenge the laws of physics, have fun studying the world around them, because that is the best way for them to learn. Remembering, they’re only young once. I need to let them play, while keeping a safe eye and reasonable, but firm, guidelines in place, taking the opportunities to teach them about Christ and His ways. For really, how short life is! James 4:14 says, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” How easy it is to get so caught up in all the blaring problems and responsibilities of being an adult! We forget what it was like to be a kid. We forget to enjoy and make the most of each day we’ve been given.
Job 14:1-2, 5 says, “Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. He springs up like a flower and withers away; like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure. Man’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.” We only have a set number of days on this earth and we don’t know what that number is. It really makes me stop and think about how I’m spending the time that I have been given. I think about how I fill up each day and how I can get so frustrated when I don’t make it someplace “on time.” That extra red light, can throw my whole day into chaos and frustration. Accidental or purposefully spilled milk can swiftly send boiling lava coursing through my veins.
When I take a step back, I can’t help but ask, “why?” Why do I let the little things have such a big effect on me? Why, when one little thing goes wrong, do I jump into a series of panicked reactions instead of controlled responses? Why am I not able to enjoy life and replace worry with joy?
I’m not focusing on the right things. (Matthew 6:19-21)
I can get so focused and consumed with the immediate that I forget to take a step back and look at the big picture. It says in 2 Corinthians 4:18 “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” There’s a song playing on the radio lately by Jonny Diaz called Breathe and my husband always jokes that it was written especially for me. So now, whenever I start getting frazzled and “freaking out” my husband will start singing, “Breathe, just breathe...” Surprisingly, it actually works sometimes. At least, it helps jolt start my mind, into the fact that I’m not thinking straight.
I’m letting worry consume me. (Matthew 6:25-34)
Worry can sneak in and take over my thinking before I even realize it is there. Matthew 6:25-27, 34 says, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” My biggest counter attack to worry is a thankful heart and a trusting spirit. It’s hard to worry about something when you’re thanking God for what He has already provided and realizing that the future is in His hands as well.
I’m going too fast (Psalm 46:10-11)
As a culture especially, we are so driven by time. We fill our days full from the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep. If it’s not with different activities, work or meetings then its tv, facebook, games or some other form of things we "have to do". I’m not saying that any one of those things in and of themselves are bad, but combined, when we get so busy that we push God out of the picture and push quiet time with him aside then it is.
In my Bible study this past week one of the things I put down that I wanted to work on was being still. There are so many verses in the bible about being still and knowing God. (Zechariah 2:13, Psalm 46:10-11, Exodus 14:14, Habakkuk 2:20 just to name a few). I know, as a mother with two young ones, being still can be an extremely hard thing to do. There’s a quote that says, “Nothing that’s worthwhile is ever easy.” The same applies to being still, being quite, and reading God’s Word. It’s not an easy thing to do that just comes naturally. If we continually wait for a time to magically come up, it never will happen. We have to make and guard that time as if our life depends on it. It takes determination and perseverance, not to give up when it doesn’t work how we want it to. Mornings are the best time for me. I try and wake up at least 30 minutes before my kids. Though, some days that doesn’t always happen and I have to find something to distract them with, long enough so I can get a little bit of “Jesus and mommy time.”
Melody, a proud mother of three beautiful, adventurous children and the wife of one very loving and caring husband. Molded, daily, by the Maker of the Universe and longing to become more like Him.