The other morning I was chatting with a friend. This mom beamed with pride as she shared a recent event when her daughter asked her for a book on birds. “It’s on the shelf in the science section, honey,” she answered, thinking nothing more of the question. But to her astonishment, hours later she found her daughter in full research mode. After poring through their books at home, she had switched to the internet for more information. Then, after satisfying her inquisitiveness on the subject, she decided to capture the spoils of this informative journey in a report. Yes, unprompted, she decided to write a report. Just…because.
“I’ve been trying to get my children to love learning,” my friend explained, “and then this happened. I’m so excited!”
Just then my youngest walked in and interrupted the conversation.
“Excuse me, mom, guess what I’m doing? I’m helping my friend learn how to swing by herself!” I saw her eyes sparkle as she pointed to the swing set in the backyard, her little 4-year-old friend smiling from ear to ear, waiting patiently. “I tied our swings together so I can swing us both while I teach her how to move her legs!” My 9-year-old then skipped out feeling a little taller, a little older.
I too had that proud sigh of satisfaction. (That is, after I made sure the swings were not dangerously tied together!) How wonderful it was to see her forego playing with the “big” kids and rather enjoy helping a friend learn something new. We had talked before about being a mentor to those who are younger, and I had even given her assignments to practice. But this was different. The twinkle in her eye and brightly lit face showed me she was seeing the beauty of it all. She was feeling the fulfillment of this lesson that she initiated all on her own.
Needless to say, my friend and I spent the next moments gushing over our golden moments, these precious moments we parents live for. The moments when we see our children take the initiative to do something worthwhile: to do a good deed, to give sacrificially, to help another. It’s the joy of seeing them take the lessons that we’ve taught them and run with them. All without prompting. All just-because.
This caused me to wonder. Does our heavenly Father feel the same?
Does He too gush over with love when we take the initiative? Does He get that same burst of exhilaration when He sees us take what we’ve learned in His Word and do something with it, without His having to prompt us?
I thought about the parable of the man with the talents. I thought about how excited he must have felt to see what his servants had done with the talents he had entrusted to them. Then I considered the disappointment he felt to see that the one servant had buried his talent. Too afraid to do anything.
Sometimes we live our lives waiting. Waiting for that golden opportunity, that perfect timing; waiting for that sign to let us know it’s okay to move. And while there is a season for waiting, often times these reasons can be just fear in disguise. It can be our way to hold back and subsequently place the responsibility on Him.
“The Bible is filled with lots of action words,” my friend once told me. How true.
We have lots of lessons that are waiting to be experienced, moments that will cause that same sparkle in us as it did in my daughter. These are those precious moments when we see for ourselves the greatness of God’s Word playing out in our lives.
Do you have something tugging in your heart that you’d like to do? Something that you’ve always wanted to do, but you’ve been sitting on the sidelines waiting for the cue? I encourage you to step out and do it. No more waiting, no more excuses. Take that missions trip. Speak to that friend. Help that lady. Volunteer at that place. Give that gift.
And when you do, just know that your Father above will be gushing with love at the fact that you took the initiative. He will be beaming with joy when He sees you living out what He has taught…without Him having to prompt you. So if you’re one who sits back and waits for a sign, then wait no more. This is it!