Her little feet, slightly podgy, struggling to find balance on sand that keeps shifting and changing its mind where it wants to be. Her face taking on a look of fierce concentration, determined to master this strange yellow moving carpet.
I thought I’d have mastered the shifting life scenes by now. I thought I’d be able to walk confidently despite strange moving circumstances. Instead I’m still slipping as it goes a different way to where I was expecting. Sometimes I really think I’ve got it and I can walk faster, maybe even run. Then I’m down on my knees again or sometimes just fall flat on my backside.
That little girl taught me as I just sat watching her. I watched her joy at walking forwards, at seeing the sun making patterns, at the seagull eyeing her beadily. I watched her fall backwards and land on her bottom and I watched her sit there stunned for a minute before getting back up. She always got back up and tried again. The sand didn’t stop shifting under her feet. To be honest, she didn’t stop falling over. It didn’t stop her though.
Life isn’t about the falling down. If only I could learn that! If only I could learn it’s about enjoying the feel of warm dough under your hands, of laughing at the swallows making big loop-the-loops in the sky, of reading the Bible and seeing a verse highlighted in bold. If only I could learn that circumstances are going to change and the only way to stand is to expect the unexpected, to remain flexible, to realise my plans never were set in stone. By now, I really thought I’d be getting a hang of living but seems I’m still learning. Maybe that’s okay though. Maybe that’s part of life. Maybe that’s part of learning to live.
But when the sand shifts, the Rock doesn’t. I’ve learnt that. Maybe that’s the lesson of the shifting sand: that He doesn’t shift. He doesn’t change His mind. And He never lets go when we reach up, desperate for some stability in the change.