The fog hung heavy over all of southeastern Michigan for days. Yesterday was the kind of day that looked and even felt gray. But the air was not arctic like it had been the week before and my three year old was begging me to go outside and play. It was literally the last thing I wanted to do. I didn’t want to get wet or cold or really spend more time immersed in the gray. While spending time with my son is incredibly high on my priority list it’s not always on my to-do list.
But, despite my gray mood, we slipped our feet into our rain boots and headed outside. If possible – the grass even looked gray – I felt like we were transported to Kansas with Auntie Em. There were remnants of icy snowy slush and lots of muddy puddles scattered across lawns and driveways.
“Come on, mommy,” he said and took off running.
I trudged in my boots, breathing in the gray air, noticing how it filled my lungs, with the memory of spring air that promised to come again.
“I found one!” he said.
I knew what was coming.
He reached up for my hand.
He counted to three.
And we jumped!
Water splashed over the top of our boots , soaking our socks.
And just like that, my three year son, broke the gray. With every jump, vibrant color splashed across the neighborhood – kind of like when Dorothy arrives in Oz, but with a lot less trepidation and a lot more excitement.
We walked through the neighborhood on a search for more puddles. Some clear, some muddy, some full of leaves, some in driveways, some on the sidewalk, some on the road. No puddle was off limits.
We found a puddle that seemed to go on forever – he looked down. He crouched down to get a closer look. He looked pensive. I watched the wheels turning, wondering what he was thinking.
“I wonder how deep it is.” He said, not necessarily to me, just thinking out loud.
He stood up, eyes fixed on this vast, endless puddle, and reached his hand up. He held my hand in his and took a deep breath.
And we jumped! He certainly calculated the risk before jumping but the fear of not knowing where the bottom of the puddle was did not stop him from jumping. And just because he reached for my hand didn’t mean he wasn’t scared – but he didn’t let fear get in the way of the joy that was coming.
And here’s the thing, sometimes it takes a three year old in Paw Patrol rainboots to remind me of my priorities. God is not calling us to stay, safe, warm and dry. I’m not sure there is a lot of joy there. But when we take the risk, when we jump in the mud puddles, we can experience immeasurable joy.
So what is your puddle? What will you take a leap in? What is God asking you to take a risk on to experience the joy?