Who can ever understand the way our minds hold onto seemingly small things and turn them into long-term memories? I recently recalled an incident when I was probably three or four, but the image is still vivid today.
My family had driven to church, and I was walking through the doors of the church beside my daddy, holding his large hand with my tiny one. Maybe he stopped to open the church door ~ I don’t know why we unclasped hands. But I was still beside him, so I felt secure in his presence, even though I wasn’t physically connected to him. We continued down the hall, and from my vantage point, the view consisted mostly of other people’s knees! I was just following the flow of traffic, walking beside my daddy. I didn’t have to know where I was going because Daddy knew the way, and I was with him.
As the flow of people increased, so did my anxiety, so I reached up and grabbed Daddy’s hand for security. I was happy in my own little world until I happened to look up into Daddy’s face, and it was the face of another man from our church! I let go of his hand and panicked, looking everywhere for the face that was most familiar to me, the one I knew I trusted. This man wasn’t unsafe or bad ~ he just wasn’t my daddy!
Fortunately, Daddy was nearby, and I ran over and grabbed his hand and continued down the hall, heart pounding, feeling safe once more.
So I ask you: why would my four-year-old brain remember that small incident that probably only lasted for five minutes of my life? Perhaps it lodged in my mind because it illustrates some key principles.
We all need security; everyone is grasping for something to hold onto that makes them feel safe and connected. And there are lots of choices: people, money, possessions, jobs and careers, our children, our church, an educational degree, investments . . . the list goes on to include things that many find comforting. What gives you that sense of security you long for?
Challenge question: ask yourself if the thing or person you cling to for security has the ability to keep you safe.
The little girl I described had grabbed onto something nearby that she thought was safe. But she didn’t look above her normal eye level to confirm the source of her security. Once she looked into the eyes of her protector, she saw a stranger ~ not the daddy who loved her.
Make sure you hold hands with the One who can keep you safe . . . who knows and loves you . . . who knows the Way even when you don’t. If you can’t find Him, ask me and I’ll take you to Him.