Today I went for a walk on a local trail. In the span of a few seconds, a girl, maybe a few years older than me, jogged steadily by; a man with white hair sped by on his recumbent bicycle; then, a parent rode past with an infant trailer. All stages of life were being represented. I, a 20-something year old cloud gazing, preoccupied with my thoughts; a 30-something year old moving towards a goal; an older man who had come through the bumps in life’s road and taking it easy now; and finally, the parent who carried her responsibility. But before we ask to be the baby, carefree and unaware, we must realize that the baby has no say in where to go, how fast to go, or what to see. The baby’s only job, and the only one it can perform, is to be in need.
We all start out as babies. In our teens, we hope to have life figured out by a certain date. As we mature, we learn that kindness has no limits but the limits of broken people. We learn to give, and to give thanks. We learn sacrifice when we are stretched thin and sent to our knees. We breathe gasping gulps of grace and learn surrender. We imitate a holy God, to know and be known. We come having meandered through life’s detours, through the rainstorms, acknowledging we are part of one big story.
“But we are not the Author of our story. We are the characters.” – Kara Tippetts’ The Hardest Peace