I love to read about behavior. It has always fascinated me. I love to dig into the real reasons people are the way they are. I am intrigued at how two people with the same type of experience can choose entirely different routes based on how they interpret the event in question. When you dissect a particular behavior, there is often a moment in time in which a person made a rule, or an agreement, with themselves on how to move forward. For example, how many times as a child did you think, “When I grow up I’ll NEVER do ___” (fill in the blank here)…I’ll never drink. I’ll never publicly embarrass my children. I’ll never spank. I’ll never depend on anyone…the list could be anything. They are the rules you live by. They guide your future decisions and behavior.
I’ve been reading recently about a theory of how we interpret God based on our childhood experiences. If you came from a home where there was little time for play or your parents were workaholics, you may feel that God is to big, to busy for your problems. After all, he is the creator of the universe and tad bit on his plate…. If your parents were demanding, harsh, critical, you may feel that God is the same, punishing you for actions that do not line up to what you view as ‘good’. If something doesn’t go your way, you instantly think God must be punishing you. The problem is, our parents & grandparents are all human. They make mistakes. Lord knows that parenting is the hardest job on earth. If we take one memory and affix that to the face of God, we are setting ourselves up for a life time of confusion and condemnation.
We started attending a non-denominational church a few years ago. Pastor Mike has a way of breaking down the Bible in ways that leave me utterly dumbfounded. In service, I often have those ‘light bulb’ moments and past events of my life suddenly fit into place. I find their meaning and/or purpose. One such time was when Pastor Mike told the story of a little girl on the side of the pool. She is about three years old, still learning to swim. Her dad is in the pool, chest deep. He calls to her, “Jump. Jump to me.” The little girl is scared. She doesn’t quite know if her daddy will catch her. She thinks he will…but she knows it is deep and she knows she can’t swim well. “Jump” he calls. “I promise I’ll catch you. I’ll be right here. Trust me.” He continues to call to her, to plead with her to just try it once. After much thought and twisting, the little girl takes a leap and lands, with a big splash, in her daddy’s arms. He hugs her tight with a big smile and says, “see, I promise that I’ll always catch you!” It was then Pastor Mike broke down the lesson…He said, God is your heavenly father. He wants you to jump to him, to trust him. To let him help you swim through life. How much does it break your heart when your child doesn’t trust you to catch them? To trust you not to let them fall or get hurt? How much do you think it breaks God’s heart when you do the same to him?
Light. Bulb. Moment.
So my question to you is, how do you see God? What unspoken rules or boundaries do you place on him? The truth is, if you really evaluate your belief system, you will see that you not only apply these rules, walls, or strongholds with God, you do the same with other relationships as well. The rules you made, whether consciously or subconsciously, govern what you accept or reject. They determine your future decisions. Pieces and parts leak out and effect all of your relationships. Do you need to reevaluate those rules? Where did they come from? What do they mean? Are they holding you back or moving you forward? I’m on a mission to live my life to the fullest. To do so, you must breathe truth in those dark corners, sweep out the cobwebs and have the strength to start again. Forward progress. It is my goal.