"Daddy will you teach me how to swim today?" Her inquiry came from the backseat of the vehicle as the family headed to a friend's house for a day at the pool. Dad's response was something like, honey we don't learn how to swim in just one day... "But I want to learn how to swim dad." Yes dear, but you'll need to learn how to listen first.
That was the gist of a conversation with my daughter the other day on our way for a swim. To say that she was excited would be a gross understatement. When she heard that we might go to the pool she began to dance around and sing with unbridled delight.
Our generous friends had graciously invited us to enjoy their pool. It was only minutes after our arrival that our daughter was splashing around in the shallow end where she could stand with her head well above the water. Her life vest on for added safety as she bounced around with glee.
Standing only a few feet away from her, where the water was a little over her head but not quite up to my waist, I reminded her of her request to learn how to swim. Come here and dad will teach you something. I held my arms outstretched to her and gave all the encouragement I had in my daddy tool belt. Apparently my supply of encouragement was not enough to overcome her supply of anxiety.
One of a father's main responsibilities is to care for and protect his child. This I have done to my utmost for the entirety of my daughter's 6 years of existence. Little ones often seem to desire a massive amount of assurance before venturing out of the realm of their control.
Anxiety has a way of blinding one to the realities that may be otherwise seen. This was the state my daughter was in as she refused to respond to her daddy's invitation. Though her daddy loves her more than she knows, though she could see that daddy was standing in the pool, though she has seen daddy swim in the deep end on several occasions, though she herself was wearing her life vest, and though mommy too was also only a few feet away, her anxieties blinded her to all of this and she succumbed to the familiar territory where she was in control.
Needless to say this caused me to ponder the reflection of the relationship between our heavenly Father and His anxiety prone children. As providence would have it, I had been reading in Exodus. Shortly after the encounter in the pool I read of Israel's encounter at the Red Sea. "Do not fear" (Ex. 14:13).
Providence again knocked on my door. I found these recent lessons simmering on the front burner as I encountered a rather troubling report during a recent physical. Though not a major issue, regular medicine will be needed to keep things on track. (By the way I am thankful for such availability to modern medicine.)
Oftentimes life teaches lessons without using words. All things considered, it seems that it may have actually been me who was learning how to swim.