When Macie was a baby she loved swinging, she loved exploring and trying different things with this fearlessness but for us that was scary we knew that she wasn’t mature enough to handle the dangers along the way. By placing her in the baby swing she was able to be held secure but still experience the journey around her. At that time in her minimum knowledge she needed something that would protect her more and keep her safe until she had gained the physical and mental maturity to move to the next swing. Now Macie is in a big girl swing. She has grown over the past 5 years and gained the knowledge of what you need to do to stay safe. She knows the swing will hold her secure still but she has to hold on and use the things that she has learned to keep her safe.
I started thinking about how our relationship with God is like that swing set in my backyard. When we first come to know God we are in this infancy stage and have to rest in the security of who God is and trust in His wisdom and leading due to our lack of knowledge at the time. After a while and many years of experiences, prayer, teachings, Godly counsel, accountability and preparation’s we move out of that infancy stage into a more mature role. Like Macie’s big girl swing we still have the safety and security of Christ but He now trusts us a little more to do the right things, make the right decisions and to hold onto Him still ultimately so we don’t slip and fall off the swing causing heartache in our journey. Now that Macie has mastered the big girl swing she starts thinking of all the cool things she could do like standing on the swing, going super high, jumping off the swing in mid air, using it as part of an obstacle course or whatever. It makes me nervous I just want her to be content with being back in that blue swing with the safety buckle and having me push her gently in the air but the truth is she has grown up and she needs more.
Do you ever feel like that?? You feel like you have trusted all the little pieces of your life in Gods hands and have worked super hard to become mature in Him and be the man or woman He wants you to be but then you just feel like there is something more? You start thinking of the out of the box ways that may be a little dangerous but your confident you can do it like Macie and her new boldness on the swing set. You are ready for a new challenge and for what God has for your life. I have felt like at different times in my life and a few things happened. At one point when I was ready to jump out and try something new and completely out of the box it ended in pain and failure, the truth is I just wasn’t ready for the challenge yet. Although my heart wanted to serve so bad I was still so spiritually immature. Now this doesn’t mean you have to read so much of the Bible or have a list of qualifications to serve it just means you have to be aware of what you are ready for and you still may stumble but that’s ok. After I felt like I had failed I got back up and tried again, not immediately but I used as many resources around me whether it be books, sermons, community group, bible studies, prayer, mentoring relationships and all of those things along with experiences helped me to grow even more and gain the ability to have insight and capability of stepping out of the box safely, maturely, and knowledgeably.
So which swing do you think you would place yourself in, either the baby swing or swing 1, big girl swing or swing 2 or using the swing as an acrobat or swing 3?
If you would say that you are a fairly new Christian and need to be held and feel that safety and security right now until you mature a little more for the journey ahead, you are probably in swing 1.
If you have grown in Christ a little but still need lots of help and you know the moment you let go of His guidance a disaster is waiting, then you would be in swing 2.
If you’re in a place in life where you feel you have worked really hard to learn and grow in the Lord and although you have become mature you still are not safe from stumbling but you would like to do something out of the box, something bold for Christ, you are in swing 3.
Whatever swing you find yourself in now doesn’t have to be permanent. There is a season and time for everything. God knows exactly what you need when you need it and if you continue to seek Him He will nurture, and love you so that you can grow and do more extreme out of the box things for Him.