I took the boys fishing again and caught very little again. The reason this happens is because they have limited patience and an amazing ability to tangle, or otherwise cause their line to need some fixing. Naturally they are looking to me to provide the fix while they fiddle with local wildlife or tourists. At the same time, my oldest son uses a reel that is more difficult to cast and so he wants me to cast it for him. It all becomes an exhausting endeavor for me. I take the time to go fishing with them because they enjoy spending that time with me, not because we will ever actually catch anything. We play in the water, look for snakes, find frogs and make attempts at catching minnows. At the end of the day we catch very little, but we always have a great time doing it.
It is nice to be needed, but as a parent I want my kids to learn to be independent. One of the sweetest things a parent can receive is to have their child do soemthing for themself that they needed help with prior. I guess you could say that we are trying to work ourselves out of a job, just not too quickly.
This is a positive when it comes to parents and their children. It is this same dynamic that I think encourages us to apply that same concept to our relationship with God. Even a cursory read through the Bible reveals that this is not what God intends for us. In fact, there is only one thing you can do without Jesus Christ.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. – John 15:5
The “my do it” stage comes quickly with us and God. Then any attempt at living a Christian life is lost because in our own power we can do nothing. In fact, you can be sure that the only thing you will in fact do perfectly without God is nothing at all. Sure we can put on a few nice performances, but it amounts to nothing more than an empty shell.
The difference is that as we spend time with God, we actually realize that we need to become more dependent on Him. The dependence actually grows with time rather than diminishes. Maturity in our faith only comes as we rely more on Him and less on ourselves. We need Him for everything. He is our life, our joy and our strength.
I know that I long to help my children, even if it is a lot of work, because I know that this time is so valuable. As a father, I want to do whatever I can for my children. God does a much better job of that than I could ever do. I think it is time to let Him work like He needs to!