Children mesmerize me. Pack a room with adults and one child, and I will always gravitate to the little one. I love their spirit of adventure and love of life, even if their curiosity or stubbornness results in trouble. Therefore, my trips to the grocery store are entertaining because the store is packed with tiny tots eager to capture forbidden treasures or enter a battle of wills with war-weary parents.
Today at the grocery store I witnessed a mom with her lengthy list, harried demeanor, and an inquisitive toddler perched in the prime spot of the cart. Immediately, he wanted down, which was not a wish to be granted. He then began to see brightly colored boxes on the shelves and called out for each and every one only to be denied, culminating into many tears. As I followed behind, crisscrossing the store, God shared a unique perspective.
Just like the small child rode safely tucked in his mom’s cart (even though he was rebellious and didn’t know he was safe), we should trustingly travel with God as we traverse the aisles of our life. He knows best what needs to be placed in our cart and which items we need to pass by and leave on the shelves.
But oftentimes we…
-fuss about being confined to the cart
-attempt to grab things we don’t need
-envy those outside the cart who appear to be having fun without us
-strain to escape
-feel like we’re hanging on for dear life
-believe it’s too confining
-try to steer it on our own
-ask others to help us get out
We should simply settle back and rest in the loving and skillful driver because he has us strapped in and completely protected.
As moms or aunts or grandmothers, we make decisions and set parameters in the best interest of the child and so does God. Proverbs 3 tells us to trust in the Lord and not to rely on our own understanding, but it’s difficult when all of the shiny and tantalizing objects call to us from the sidelines. Children in supermarket carts don’t realize that a diet of syrupy cereals, chocolate milk, and cookies may not best, but they have to surrender and accept their parent’s choices and boundaries.
I watched the child a little longer, smiled, thanked God for his steering capabilities, grabbed a childhood treasure of Barnum’s animal crackers, and decided to be content to let God guide the cart while I snacked on my special treats.
Riding with God is the best way to experience the journey. Relax and let him navigate.
About Shelley Pulliam
Howdy! (A girl from Oklahoma has to use this as her greeting) I’m Shelley Pulliam, executive director of Arise Ministries and former teacher of hormone-filled 8th graders. But my real claim to fame rests in my award as second grade spelling bee champ and my recent gun-handling skills as I train to competition shoot. It helps me be on guard when Satan comes knocking. I’m a voracious reader and can frequently be found at the theater enjoying movie marathons where my record stands at six in one day. I’m a single, never married, who loves to pour into children at every opportunity. Let me know if you have any for sale. You can connect with me on social media. https://www.instagram.com/shelleypulliam/