Kayla and the Nile

(pic of Kayla on our lake, summer 2008)

Like I mentioned in the Frog in the Dryer blog, Kayla, our 6 year old niece visited for the weekend this past weekend. One of the things her mother, Kimberly, (my husband\’s sister) requested that we do while Kayla was here was watch the Mystery of the Nile IMAX video (http://www.nilefilm.com/) together. The video is a documentary about a team of people who travel the entire Nile River together, all the way from its source to the sea. Kayla\’s father\’s parents are from Africa, so it was cool to sit with Kayla and see the beautiful panoramic views of a far off continent she has grandparents from, a place from which a part of her heritage springs.

According to the video, the Nile is a dangerous river that no one had ever successfully traveled from source to outlet. This crew was the first to actually make it–and all of them came out alive (unlike other expeditions). The dangers lie in the crocodile infested areas, the crazy currents, the gun firing bandits who pepper its banks, the waterfalls, the weather, and, last but not least, the sections of dangerous rapids.

During one of the dangerous rapids parts of the video I must admit I got a little scared for the team–it was intense video footage. Kayla, who was snuggled deep into one of our bean bag chairs, popped up and climbed onto the sofa and cuddled up close. It was frightening and evidently she felt I was the best one in the room to provide comfort and a sense of safety. Of course, I loved it!! I felt so needed and knew that what she needed I could give. So, I put my arm around her, helped her crawl under the blanket and we pulled it up to our chins. Much better…we now could commence watching the riveting footage together.

The Kayla snuggle got me thinking: where do I go when I\’m frightened? What is my knee jerk reaction when life gets too intense? Well, I know that I\’m not unlike many theater goers who grab the popcorn bucket and start munching when the scene gets intense…yep, I\’m a crunchy, salty girl, myself. Is there real comfort there? Well, maybe…short term, pretty hollow, though…guess it works better in movie theaters than in real life. It is only a movie, afterall, and the scene (if it has a decent producer/director) resolves itself eventually and the popcorn bucket does find the floor sooner or later. Life isn\’t quite so neat and tidy, we all know that one.

Running to people is another place I head when things get \’over the top\’. Like Kayla exhibited, I tend to gravitate toward people I know well and who feel safe. Then I spill my guts. Close friends can be great comforts and abiding presences through it all, but often they cannot heal my fear or fix the problem. The hugs and care does go a long way, though–if you\’re one of these people in my life: thank you, thank you!!

I suppose God makes this short list too. He is more last resort instead of first resort and things usually have to be pretty darn disastrous before I actually pop up and run to His arms and snuggle in close.

This is all a sad commentary on my feeble faith in God.

I\’m grateful to Kayla for helping me reflect on what I do or where I go when frightened. Awareness is always the first step in change, the first step in reorienting myself to the One who can actually bring comfort, healing and deliverance in times of uncertainty and/or in times of real or imagined danger.

I think the goal is to actually stay snuggled with God, that way I don\’t have to pop up and run: I\’m already there. Perpetually in His arms, safe and sound with a blanket up to our chins…mmm, wonderful!

Categories God

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