I had already waved at our son, Nathan, who was 11 at the time and standing out in the front yard, when Becky, 6, came rushing out of the house carrying a big stick and a bread basket, nearly knocking my tools out of my hands.
“What’s all that for?” I asked.
“Oh!” The excitement lit her face. “Nathan says that you can see for 3 seconds after you get your head chopped off so we’re going to go find out.”
Ah, the rush of choice.
This, by the way, was the same energetic daughter who climbed a tree at age 2 and hung by one hand some four feet from the ground, calling for me to rescue her.
I think God made many of us parents so that we’d understand his nature slightly better.
God is no protectionist. He laid the ripe fruit in Eden and warned against it. He calls our name but never sedates our heart.
When Nathan and Becky rushed out for their guillotine experiment, I went to the kitchen to make supper. I trusted their good sense, partly because I had not rescued a little girl a few years before.
They knew the limits of choice. Freedom may look boundless, but we must learn our own limitations. My daughter did get herself down from that tree. She didn’t stop climbing trees but she learned to test the branch and gauge the height before starting. And the kids didn’t come to supper headless that night.
We understand that choice allows us to worship freely. It also teaches us to trim our sails and navigate this life in the abundance that God promises us.