We smile indulgently as toddlers discover how to achieve new skills. Putting on (and taking off) their own clothes and footwear by themselves is a sign of burgeoning independence.
Life is all about trying new things, especially for toddlers. They have many obstacles before them on the path to becoming able and capable of helping themselves.
As adults, we can cling too tenaciously to the safe and familiar, afraid of the very real risk of failure. Or hold too tightly to what we know instead of opening ourselves up to things beyond our comprehension.
Much of life consists of aspects of trying, holding and releasing. The key thing is having wisdom and insight to see what to hold onto and what to relinquish. Thankfully, God gives them to us freely when we ask Him.
My grandson's latest pet phrase is, "You do it; I can't do it!" His weary parents may sigh at times because of his perceived need of help, while steeling themselves for the next likely stage whereby he will insist on doing everything himself whether competent or not.
What I love about the way he seeks help is his utter confidence in his parents' ability to meet his requests. There's no hesitation as he approaches them, only an expectation of being received with wisdom, guidance, kindness, love - and hopefully, patience!
How does this relate to our grown-up world? I see a tendency in me to cling tightly to safe and familiar, to hold hard onto God as my soul's anchor and refuge, and to struggle sometimes to know when to release and let go of things. Maybe you do too?
Reassuringly, we can have every confidence in approaching our heavenly Father and being met with His unconditional love.
And His infinite patience and calm.
clinging tightly to the things
I believe I have a right
to keep; little knowing
that the harder I hold
onto my joys and sorrows
as I sift sands of today,
the more difficult
it will be to prise
my hands free, away
from creating castles
in the air of tomorrow
As Christian believers, faith writers and creatives, generosity is meant to be our hallmark as we learn what and when to share.
Timidity or fear can make us toddler-tyrant, unwilling to lose perceived control, making us cling harder to our own ways instead of surrendering swiftly to God's.
God wants us to be open to trying new ways of living more fully and freely by His grace. He desires heart obedience and willingness to release and relinquish what doesn't fit who we are now in Christ.
When we hold onto Him, cling to His word and the promise and potential it brings, we gradually learn how dependence on God is the most restful and freeing way to live.
And as we seek wisdom in sharing our words and deeds, confidence will grow as we live into our calling as writers and disciples of Jesus.
Joy Lenton is a grateful grace dweller, contemplative Christian writer, poet and blogger, author of 'Seeking Solace: Discovering grace in life's hard places'.
She enjoys encouraging others on their journey of life and faith at her blogs wordsofjoy.me and poetryjoy.com as she seeks to discover the poetic in the prosaic and the eternal in the temporal. You can connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.