My little girl is just over 14 months old. We have this thing we do where she walks up to me looking like she's going to cry, I stick out one finger, she smiles and grabs it with her whole fist, and we walk around where ever she wants to go. She loves it, I love it, and it's adorable.
One day recently, mommy really needed a break, so we found ourselves walking around outside, going up and down the sidewalk. She kept a tight grip on my finger as she pointed to fascinating things, yelled at birds, touched the leaves, or whatever. But every once in a while, she would see something she wanted to go to, and she would let go of my finger and venture towards it. I stayed close and watchful, but let her wander a bit. It wasn't long before I watched her begin to notice that I wasn't right next to her. She began to whimper and panic as she scanned her immediate surroundings.
She became more and more anxious until she finally locked eyes with me, almost exactly where she left me. Her face turned to relief as she ran back to me and grasped tightly onto my outstretched finger once more. She then pointed back at whatever she was investigating and we marched towards it together. The whole experience is very cute, and it is a memory I will cherish forever. However, I couldn't help but reflect on a deeper meaning to what is going on in my own life, and in the lives of countless Christians around the world.
The Father is always with us. He is always watching, and He always has His finger outstretched towards us, inviting us to grab a hold with everything we've got. But there are so many times when we see something so appealing that we forget to take Him along on the adventure. We become fascinated or concerned by so many things that we lose track of what we are holding onto. We leave the safety and security of the Father's touch, and we pursue other things.
It's not even always over something bad though. We always think we're doing fine if we aren't on drugs or hurting others, But we can be drawn to a person, a job, a ministry, a calling, or many other things that can be justified away as "pursuing God", but we simply forget to remain within the touch and presence of our Father. There can be many reasons for this. Maybe we feel like the Father is walking too slowly, and we'll miss it. Maybe we think we are fine without Him, or maybe we just become so distracted that we lose sight of Him.
But one thing is for certain. We will all eventually look around, notice how far we are from where we should be, and begin to panic. And the very worst part of it all is that so many misguided and hurting people have misrepresented the Father for so long, that our natural instinct is to think that He is standing at a distance and pointing at us in condemnation and conviction. But what you are actually seeing is a loving and gracious Father that will take you anywhere you want to go, show you anything you want to see, and teach you anything you want to know.
His finger is pointing right at you. Grab on tight and start your new adventure.