Watch kids be carried backpacks, pushed in those off road, three wheeled behemoth strollers, or more intimately, in their parent's arms. What are they concerned with? The Next step? Whether they will have the strength to keep going?
I ran a marathon a few years back in Austin, where I saw a man push his three children the total 26.2 miles. It was an unusually cold day - 40ish degrees - and they were bundled up in this giant three-wheeler, while dad ran behind them, in just shorts and shoes. We happened to be running about the same pace and around mile 10, the youngest was complaining about something. What, I don't know, since I was trying to run a race. But I hear the father say to his daughter, "Hey, could you give some Fruit Loops to your brother?" At one point, I even heard one of the kids say, "dad, I am bored."
All those kids had to do was enjoy the ride. It was their father that was doing all the work. As the crowds rolled by cheering, they saw the kids, and cheered for the Father.
What if, one of those kids tried to get out of the seat and run himself? Would he not quickly freeze, wear out? At the 8 minute pace his dad was trucking; just stepping out while the stroller was in motion would be disastrous. And, supposing he did get out (without making a complete bloody mess on the road) would it not be a matter of time until he finally, just stopped all together and wanted to go home?
Lately, I have been brought back to this idea of being carried by my Father. Last month I was running full steam busy, with a move to a new place, work, people, life - I was very quickly wearing out. By the beginning of May, I felt like a frayed wire shorting out. As I finally had the chance to stop, and breath, I heard my Father say, "I will carry you. I made you and will support you; I will carry you and rescue you... (Is. 46:4) And right on the heals of that word were Jean-Pierre's words, "What is the use of being able to see..."
The often over quoted verse, "Be still and know that I am God," says more than what people mean. It actually is addressed to the nations that are fighting against God's people and translates more like, "stop your STRIVING, do NOTHING/ BE QUIET, and know that I am God." This to a world that is fighting against him.
Frayed and short-circuiting I slump back into the seat and let my Father carry me along. In doing so, I can HEAR him say similar words as the runner said to his kids. "Give your brother some fruit loops." I am not all that bored, though, b/c I am getting to pay attention to what He has for me. I am not wearing myself out, fighting to understand where we are going, why it seems this way or that way. Being carried, I can breathe. Being carried I am only able to "do" what He carries me to.
Growing up American, we have been trained to work hard at making things happen, being busy, striving for the next big thing very adult behavior. And as Chesterton once said, "It may be that he has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we." Growing young, we are trained to be carried again, to be quiet, to have an eternal infancy like our Father. For with a child, time does not exist, only the immediate moment of the journey.
So, this is what it means to be loved....