Summer heat makes my mind wander to thoughts of a swimming pool and from there to a memory from my childhood.
Please forgive me if this is inappropriate, but hang in there…it has a point…=0)
I loved going to the pool and could stay in the water until I became a wrinkled prune.
My sister, eight years older than I, was usually my chaperone. I’m sure she suspected something since I never left the pool, even sitting with my feet dangling in the water and wiggling to get back in during the mandatory rest breaks.
She inherited our father’s good German authoritarian demeanor which she would wield on me when the situation warranted.
On one visit she told me, with great severity, that the lifeguards had started to use a chemical in the water. If anyone went potty in the pool, the water would turn the color of the offender’s swim suit.
She was dead serious as she warned me and I believed her.
Sadly those good old German responsibility genes must have mutated below the blonde pig tails of her little sister.
I realized I was wearing a plaid swimming suit….and, well….do the math. All I could think was how amazing it would be to see the whole pool turn plaid.
It was disappointing when I realized my sister had lied.
And worse, I couldn’t confront her.
I still laugh when I think of what a goof I was and the idea of everyone knowing what I had done didn’t even phase me.
I wonder when I became so self-conscious and socially paralyzed by fear of rejection. But somewhere along the road of life, we all do to some degree.
Recently, our middle daughter and her husband were home and I showed them some of the treasures of the posters and projects she and her siblings produced over the years of their childhood. Each one is as unique as the child who made it. We laughed til our sides hurt. But as she wiped the laugh/tears from her eyes, she shook her head and said, “We were the weirdest kids.”
(I’m thinking in light of the above story that her mom took the prize in that category….)
I got my defensive mom hackles up when she said it. I thought in my heart –
“NO!!!! You were, and are, creative and funny and delightful”. God wired each one in a way that is as distinctly individual as their fingerprints. Wonderfully made, not weird.
We each have a personality designed by God and it is most freely expressed, I believe, in our childhood.
It IS important that we mature.
Otherwise, you would not want me to swim in the same pool as you, much less be a part of your life!
But I think as we move through life, that child-like imprint gets bruised up and tainted and scarred; and we try to distance ourselves from the way God made us as we conform to the world in order to fit in.
And as we distance ourselves from how God wired us, we distance ourselves from God.
But when we come to God, through Jesus Christ, the messes we’ve made and the human sin nature we were born into and the damage done to us by evil in the world are washed away. And He calls us….His children.
I’m not advocating you go dye test the water at the local pool; but I do encourage you to take yourself a little less seriously this summer by taking God more seriously.
2 Corinthians 6: 17-18 Come out from among them (the INFLUENCE of the idols, lawlessness and darkness of this world) and be separate says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters…”
God bless you this day, little children, for you are wonderfully made and well-loved by your Father <3