Some toddlers build a bond with snuggly things like their special blanket or favorite stuffed animal. They drag it all over the house and yard, bring it along on outings, and snuggle it close during nap time and bedtime. One of my little guys has a favorite stuffed animal named “Blue Thing.” Blue Thing was once a giraffe, but in a fit of new motherhood, I snipped off the giraffe’s horns (I left the ears) for fear my son might bite them off and choke on them. Because Blue Thing is so loved, we secretly have four of them that get rotated on a cleaning schedule. Two of them were purchased a few months further into my motherhood than the first two; they both still have their horns.
My other little guy, despite my best efforts, prefers to cuddle with hard plastic objects, usually Legos. The Lego color depends on the day, but it always has to be the one with eight bumps. He also enjoys snuggling with a small toy ambulance and one night when I went in to rock him back to sleep, he was clutching his small blue plastic drill.
The other obsession at the moment is anything that looks like a cross. They loudly and enthusiastically yell out, “Gigi cross!” (Jesus cross) anytime they see anything that remotely resembles a cross. It could be the medical cross on the side of a clinic, two popsicle sticks that happened to fall just right across each other, and even the letter T (which I thought was quite profound for two year olds; St. Francis would be smiling).
So, can you imagine how crazy it got here today when mommy started to build crosses out of…wait for it…Legos?! (Oh, I know, your skin is just tingling.)
I built my little Lego snuggler a Gigi cross out of Legos and he immediately put it safely in the basket of his tricycle. My boys just started actually using the pedals of their bikes last week and I’m amazed at how fast those tiny little legs can pump those bikes to warp speeds. We’ve had a few tumbles, many brotherly crashes, and they’ve ended up stuck in the rocks or grass more than once. They haven’t quite mastered the slowing down bit yet.
So, the Lego snuggler has his Lego Gigi cross in his bike basket. He’s zooming around, lovin’ life, and then I look up from a sip of coffee and he’s totally flattened out face first under his bike. From a far, it looks like quite a crash, so I’m expecting some scratches. I move the bike off of him, give him a hug (no blood), and he pops up and with his most concerned voice, yells, “Giiiigiiii!!!” He runs to the wreckage to find his Lego Gigi cross broken into three pieces. I quickly pop the Legos back into place, he grabs the Gigi cross, puts it back into his bike basket, and is back on his merry way.
I was of course very happy my little boy wasn’t hurt and impressed he got back up and tried again (“sometimes we fall down, but we always get back up”). As I thought about the incident more, I was struck by something else.
What if when we fall down in life, our primary, most urgent concern was Jesus and our relationship with Him?
When difficult things happen in life, we run to God, we pray, and we might even beg for His help. We struggle, we cry, at times we might even doubt His presence. Things aren’t going how we wanted them to go. We might get angry with God for not listening to us, for not answering our prayers. We have clearly clung to God, but it’s been all about us.
What if in our adversity, we instead chose to cling to God just to cling to God?
What if we screamed “Jesus!” at the top of our lungs?
What if our first concern was to protect our precious relationship with Him?
What if instead of begging and making deals, we just demanded to stay close?
When we fall down, let’s lovingly cling to Him. Let’s warmly call out to Him and make sure we do everything we can to pop back together any broken pieces of our relationship. Let’s protect our relationship in the bike basket of our hearts.
We will still travel through difficult times, but with a renewed faith and fortified relationship with God.
“My soul clings fast to you; your right hand upholds me.” Psalm 64:9