Friday, May 29, 2009

T-Rex and Trust: Lessons from the Science Center

Yesterday, I took the kids to the Science Center. Before we left the house, Princess started hounding me about going to see the dinosaurs. Our science center has two huge, animatronic dinosaurs: a growling, fierce T-Rex, and an injured and labored-breathing Triceratops. Princess has a love/fear relationship with these dinos. She loves to see them, and is simultaneously terrified of them. Even though we've repeatedly talked about how they are not real, she loves to be scared by them.

As soon as we arrived at the science center, Princess ramped up the hounding. "When are we going to the dinosaurs? Mama, can we go now, please!"

We headed over to the dinosaurs, and as soon as they came into view, Princess shrunk back in fear. She hid behind me, clinging to my hand as tightly as she could. We had to walk past them to get to the fossil room that they all wanted to go to, but she was scared. I got down to her level, looked her in the eye, reminded her they weren't real, and then told her to hold my hand and close her eyes. I would lead her safely past them, and would tell her when it was safe to open her eyes again. She did.

As I guided her past the dinos, I thought about the depth of trust she had in me. She believed that I would keep her safe, that I would ensure she didn't trip or bump into anyone. She just closed her eyes, held my hand, and walked.

I look at my five-year-old daughter, and am awed by the lessons she is teaching me. She trusts me because she knows me and loves me. In her five years of life, she has learned, in lots of little ways, that I can be trusted.

Why can't I do the same? Why can't I trust God with the same simple, open faith that my daughter places in me? I have been shown over and over the depth of God's love. In lots of little (and big!) ways, He has shown me that He can be trusted.

And yet, again and again, I refuse to close my eyes and hold His hand. I insist on leading the way. I insist on setting the course. I pull out the map, point out a path, and say, "Here... this is where we will go today."

Princess knows what she wants. She wants to see the dinosaurs. Sometimes, getting what she wants is scary. When the fear starts to overwhelm, she doesn't run away. She stops, looks to me to keep her safe, closes her eyes and plugs on.

Heavenly Father, please help me, today and every day, especially when I am paralyzed by fear, to stop, look to you to keep me safe, hold your hand, and plug on.

1 comment:

  1. Cardinals and dinosaurs, good lessons ARE everywhere! Thanks for pointing them out.