It’s interesting to me how skewed our views of God can get. We grow up singing “Jesus Loves Me” and reciting the “Our Father,” but then wonder if He’s going to get mad and strike us with lightning when we make a mistake.
Somehow God’s become the great taskmaster in the sky. Rather than enjoying the journey of learning to hear His voice, we become afraid to act in case we heard wrong. Instead of telling the world about the love of God, we’re paralyzed by our fear.
The reasons I believe things have gotten so messed up are too many to discuss here. However, I would like to share a story that might shed some light on things.
I teach preschool special education. I have had several students with what’s called a developmental delay. Basically, a 5-year-old in this situation may speak, think and act more like a 2- or 3-year-old.
So, one day, all the students are gathered together to learn about letters and numbers. I ask a question, and one of my kiddos answers, “Babble babble babble babble Mommy babble babble babble Daddy! Babble babble babble car babble babble babble DINOSAUR! Babble babble babble ...”
All I asked was for a word that started with W.
Do I get mad at him? After all, he didn’t just miss the mark, he wasn’t even in the same room with it!
Of course not. He was trying his absolute best to please me and to do what I asked. I give him a big smile, say “Thank you!” and keep going on with class. Later, I spend extra time working with him on what he didn't get.
Here’s the kicker: We get so afraid of messing up with God that we don’t even try. We feel Him tell us to talk to this person or jump on that opportunity, but we’re so nervous to get it wrong that we freeze.
Can I give you some advice? (I’m going to anyway, of course.) Just try. Just do it. Take that first step through the door He's opening up in front of you.
Do you really think God is going to kick you for trying to please Him? Even if you absolutely, totally mess up somehow, your Father is not just able but willing to smile, say “Thank you for trying,” and take whatever time is needed to fix it.
Karen Ramsey is a contributing blogger to A Modern Voice and special education teacher.