It’s my current morning ritual, my grandson Carter and I taking a walk around Little Circle Road. It’s something he gets excited about, and I must confess, it’s something I look forward to also. This new ritual has brought several observations. The first is that I know where we’re going, but Carter does not. He is dependent on me. He loves the walk, but he isn’t really concerned about the destination. He enjoys the walk with me, trusts that I know where we’re going, and that I will get him home.
The second thing I’ve noticed is that what is little to me is big to Carter. Leaving our garage, Carter either crawls or wants my hand as he crosses over the little edge between our garage and the driveway. Every time we come to a crack in a sidewalk where it is uneven, once again, he either reaches for my hand or bends to crawl over it. What is small to me is immense to him. Here of late though, things have changed, he’s walked enough that he is now confident that he can get over what used to seem overwhelming. He slows, steps over them, and sometimes looks up at me with great pride. When he does, I make sure he knows I’m proud of him and his accomplishment.
The third observation is two-fold. First are dogs, big or small, loud bark or annoying yelp, scare Carter. To him, our neighbors’ dogs look like giants, they’re scary, and bring him fear, but me, I know the dogs, I know they’re all bark and no bight, and that they are actually friendly. Over time, I’ve helped Carter become comfortable with what he was fearful of, he now pets the giants. The second, things that are irrelevant to me, are treasures to Carter. Every trip Carter picks up multiple twigs, leaves and rocks and hands them to me. Maybe I should keep them, but most times, I discard them a few steps later. His valuables aren’t valuable to me.
The final reflection I’ve observed is that what seems like a small walk to me is a big walk to Carter. Invariably, at some point he stops, looks up at me, and raises his hands, he wants me to carry him. Like ice cream on a hot day, he melts my heart, and I gladly pick him up and carry him. Sometimes I carry him all the way home, other times he just wants a little break, he’s just a tad tired and needs a little rest. The journey that is a cake walk to me can be exhausting to Carter.
These experiences have given me some great insight to what it must be like for God dealing with me. Like Carter, I don’t know what a day will bring, but I’ve come to trust that Jesus knows my journey, and if I trust Him, he will get me home. Next, like Carter, there have been many obstacles in my life that looked enormous, but to God, they were small things. I’ve cried and he’s taken my hand and helped me through them. Now, after walking life’s road a while, I look back and see what was big then, is small now. Also, like Carter, I’ve faced my share of what I thought were giants, they looked big, barked loud, and intimidated me, but as I’ve walked with God, He’s taught me to, fear not, He is with me. Finally, as Carter, I get weary on my journey, feeling like I just don’t have the strength to go any further. It’s then, I’ve learned to reach out and up to Him, and He carries me. It may be what seems like an insurmountable storm, a weak moment, or just exhaustion, but God gladly wants to help me through.
In closing, my walks have caused me to reflect on Matthew 18, where Jesus picks up a child and says to the crowd, “truly I say to you, unless you change and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” I’ll be honest with you; I don’t know if I have ever grasped what Jesus was trying to teach us like I have over the past few months. As I’ve walked with Carter, I’ve seen myself and my journey with God. I’m trying to embrace the journey, to see my storms as He does, to understand that what are treasures on earth are worthless in heaven, and to trust Jesus to get me home. My walks with Carter have taught me I need to work on becoming more like a little child.