Tuesday, 10 December 2013
I remember when the boys were younger and I tried to be an educational mother. I'd buy them jigsaws and then sit, hands under my legs, as they attempted to fit the pieces in and taking forever while I could easily see where the pieces needed to go. I tried not to be bored, but, honestly, it was boring. Doing the same jigsaws, day after day, week after week. I could do them in my sleep so why couldn't they do them more quickly?! Each time I had to be patient, and each time I had to be excited when they'd finally finished it. Again.
And I realised this week (and most of you have probably realised this a very long time ago) that life is a bit like a jigsaw. One piece has to be fitted before the next piece. Sometimes, you have to be patient and allow another person to learn where it goes.
Teaching our boys a love of the outdoors (bear with me, there is a link, I promise) was, for me, an end in itself. I wanted them to breathe big gulps of deliciously fresh air and run off their energy. I wanted them to experience that peace that washes over you when you sit, high up, in a tree. I enjoyed squelching in muddy puddles. It felt healthy. It was good for them. And I wanted them to learn about risk-taking. It just felt like the right thing to do. I never realised it was part of the jigsaw.
Setting up Outdoors Unlocked was an extension of this. Our family's love of nature and adventure, shared with others. But at the same time, we had to learn to trust for our provision and not to rely on ourselves. We learnt to pray and trust like we never have before. And our boys joined us. We sat around our breakfast table, together, putting our finances into the hands of the One who knows what we need. We thought it was good for the boys to be involved. But it wasn't just about setting up a business. We never realised that this, too, was part of the jigsaw.
And so, now, when we say to our boys 'Let's go on this adventure', they say 'yes'. This is a bit bigger and a bit more scary than jumping off a cliff into the sea or doing a high ropes course, but because they are confident risk-takers and because they have seen the faithfulness of the God we serve, they say 'yes'. Because they have learnt to obey and to trust, they follow without hesitation. Because they know their lives are safe in his hands, they climb into those enormous, solid, protecting hands and go where he takes them. And that piece of the puzzle slots in. How glad I am that we have been along this journey. How grateful for the steps we've taken as a family which have led us to this point. The mud in the boot of the car and the clogged up washing machine is so very worth it. It all makes sense now. Well, at least some of it.
We don't know what the final picture in the jigsaw will look like, but we know the One who does. And we trust, and we obey, as he slots the pieces in at the right times.