Today, I had lunch with Brian and his son, Easton. Easton is 15 months old, which means that lunch is an opportunity to see how many different objects he can put in his mouth and less about eating. At one point, I asked to hold him so his dad could show us something on his phone. I’m a father, but it’s been awhile since I’ve held one quite that little. He was a joy, and it brought back so many memories of when my own girls were that size.
I remember when they started walking.
They resembled chubby angels trying on roller skates for the first time. Every step would leave us hanging on the edge of our seat. Would they make it? Would they fall? Sometimes, they would make it, and then they would fall anyway, the sound of joyful laughter bellowing from their mouth.
It’s scary to learn to walk. New legs are shaky. Muscles are still developing. The brain is still developing. Balance is a concept more than a reality. The future hangs in the balance with each lifting of a foot, and yet, they persist. In the beginning, it helps to stand in front of them, calling their name, hand stretched out as a reminder that they are not alone.
It’s a feeling that you get when you know you can do something. It’s also a feeling you get when you know that you are not alone when trying something shrouded in the unknown.
As our world grapples this month with the unknown of a brand new virus, I see a couple of different reactions. One of those reactions is outright fear: people buying 12 month supplies of toilet paper and hand sanitizer and bottled water. The other reaction I see is cautious determinism: people determined to continue to live their lives, but with cleaner hands and a deeper commitment to hygiene.
One response is born of fear. The other from confidence.
In Bible study this morning, we read the story about Daniel being thrown into the lion’s den. There was a king who issued an edict commanding everyone in the kingdom to worship him. If they didn’t, they would be fed to the lions. Pretty straight forward law. Daniel, being a faithful follower of God, chose to continue to worship the Lord three times a day.
Some would call this reckless behavior.
Others would call it confidence.
If you know the story, you know that all worked out fine for Daniel. Yes, he was caught. Yes, he was fed to the lions.
But then God rescued him.
The king was so impressed he gave him a promotion.
Did Daniel know that God would save him from the lions? That’s a good question. We really don’t know. What we do know is that Daniel knew that God had his back. He knew that his confidence would be rewarded, and that when he went into the lions’ den, he didn’t go alone.
A life of confidence makes a much better story than a life lived in fear. I’m so glad my daughters decided to step out in faith and learn to walk. They’re much too big to carry around.