I'd always thought it was because my kids liked me and they liked me holding them. They would reach out their little arms toward me and want to be in my big, strong arms. When they got hurt, when they were tired, when they were scared, or when they wanted to see something they couldn't reach. Turns out to be purely selfish. It wasn’t about me, it was about THEM!
I tripped over this insight a few years ago when my youngest son, Chadd, was standing in the kitchen pointing at something on the kitchen counter to the left of the sink. Being a toddler he couldn’t communicate clearly so we played "the guessing game." You know the one… he points, grunts and I make guesses as to what he is looking at and what he wants me to do with it. (And we parents think we are in charge.) A similar game is played when the toddlers become teenagers. It's called, "How could you be so stupid?" This game is played when the parent asks a question, the teenager looks at the parent, and, often without even verbalizing it, communicates to the parent the question, "How could you be so stupid?"
Back to Chadd… I picked up item after item asking, "Is this what you want?" To which he would pull the pacifier from his mouth and say, "No." He kept pointing, I kept guessing, he kept saying "No" and I got frustrated.
In desperation I knelt down beside him, sighted up his arm and looked. It was instantly clear. I stayed on my knees a while and looked around at his world. It was enlightening. Do you realize that toddlers live in a world of kneecaps? I'll bet their experts. Big kneecaps, small kneecaps, kneecaps in hose, naked kneecaps, invisible kneecaps covered by jeans. Our world is built for human type individuals that are at least five feet tall. Everything looks different from the angle of someone two feet tall. EVERYTHING. The floor is close but all the good stuff is far away. Feet are constantly swinging toward you. Shopping carts look like bulldozers. You can't reach anything beyond the second shelf. And if you take a risk and climb on the kitchen table the big people yell at you. It is daunting, dangerous and disconcerting. That is why my kids wanted me to hold them – so they could see life better and be protected from the kneecaps. They felt safe when they were in my arms. And when a parade comes by the best seat on the street is on dad's shoulders, using his ears as handles.
The way life looks is determined by your angle.
Life appears a lot like Chadd's world to us human types much of the time. We just don't realize it. We see things we need or want up on the counter of life, but we can't reach them. Problems threaten to kick us in the teeth. When we take a risk often people yell at us. We get scared, hurt, frustrated, tired, and life looks overwhelming. That's reality. The good news is that we have the same option Chadd chose – we can reach our arms up toward our dad and He'll hold us, help us get what we need, protect us, and reassure us.
But best of all, when we're in God's arms we can view life from where He sits. Only then can we see it as it really is. The world was build by our heavenly Dad and only from where He sits does it make sense. Your life was specifically designed for you, but only as you see it from where God sits does it make sense. Sitting on His shoulders is the best seat on the street.
The way life looks depends a lot on where you’re sitting.
I hope today you will ask God to pick you up to give you at least a glimpse of what your life looks like from where He sits.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. 9 " As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)
"Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV)