Probably my favorite thing about being a babysitter is that I get the privilege of seeing the kids that I watch grow.
I get to see them through their temper tantrums and their shining moments.
I don’t think there is a single emotion I have not seen a child experience. With everything I see the one thing I do not see very often in young children feel completely and totally defeated.
Yesterday I sat one the floor of a play room covered from left to right in train tracks. The three-year old girl I was watching was determined to build a train track. She even said she would clean EVERYTHING up when she was done, an extraordinarily large commitment for a three year old to make.
As I helped her claw her way through the piles of tracks I encouraged her to try to put the pieces together herself.
The idea of putting a train track together by herself excited her, she wanted to show me that she was a big girl.
That she could do it on her own.
No more than ten seconds into her attempt she looked at me with a face of distress.
“I can’t do it, Sarah.”
I looked at her with a fire in my eyes that screamed “yes you can!!!!”.
I was a tad shocked that she had given up defeat so quickly on something she was so determined to accomplish.
A scenario all too familiar.
That test that I was determined to get an A on until I realized it would require me going in for extra help after school.
That relationship I whisked away after an arguement that lived on a day longer than the usual bickering.
I did not give up on that little girl. I plopped her in my lap and guided her hand to help her understand how the pieces should fit. After a litle guidence and encouragement she did it. She made a train track. And with an exuburant smile on her face she watched Thomas chug down the tracks.
Far too many times I have found myself slumped in the corner, frustrated because things did not go as planned the first time.
Sometimes I have somebody physically there to hold my hand and help me build this track called life.
But more often I find that the Lord has picked me up, plopped me in His lap. And guided my hands to make the pieces fit.
And I will do it and I will thank Him with an exuberant smile on my face. And then the track will start to go downhil, but this time instead of giving up entirely I will turn to my Father and simply bow down on my hands and knees.
I can not do it on my own.