November 17, 2009

Have you ever had the great joy of watching a baby learn to crawl? Chris and I got to watch this with our son, Brady, 2 years ago, and we are now getting to watch this with our five month old Abby. Just last night Abby decided it was time to push up on all fours and start rocking. For those of you unfamiliar with the stages of crawling, this means that it will be very soon before she becomes mobile.

What always fascinates me about watching a child learn to crawl is how many things she has to master before she can get to the crawling stage. She has to learn how to hold her head and torso up by herself. She has to learn how to roll from her tummy to her back. Then she has to learn the harder task for a newborn of rolling from her back to her tummy. Once she has mastered rolling in one direction, she begins to roll multiple times to get to a toy, one of us, one of our dogs, or her brother. The last step before mobility, she began last night. The rocking back on forth on all fours in hopes to move forward. The funny thing is she often moves backwards in her attempt to go forward.

In Abby’s attempts to master the different stages, she often would get frustrated because she could not do what she wanted. We would watch her try so hard to get on her back or belly, and she often would end up crying and grunting, but eventually she would manage to do what she intended. All of these steps she has to grow through in order to reach the ultimate goal for her– mobility! What would happen if she had skipped a step?

Thinking of Abby’s development always reminds me of our own human journey and our journey with God. We, too, have many steps we must take before achieving our goals and deadlines. We cannot skip one step because it is too hard or we get too frustrated. I am sure our “bosses” would love it if we skipped steps to get to our deadlines.

The same is true with our spiritual journey. I know sometimes when I pray for something, whether it be forgiving someone or asking for something or hoping to deepen my relationship with God, I often want the result to happen right then and there. I get impatient and rather frustrated when it doesn’t happen fast enough. Abby’s stages of crawling reminds me that there are steps and stages to everything. I have to patiently “master” one step before moving to another. I am always moving forward and at times I may briefly move backwards, but I have to trust that in God’s time I will get where God and I want me to be. I will eventually forgive a person who hurt me. I will eventually fully embrace the new city I live in. I will eventually take the risks God is asking me to take.  All in due time! 

Where in our lives do we fight the stages and process that we have to go through to reach the end in mind? What areas do we need to trust God more?

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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1 Comment

  1. Stephanie

    Hey old friend! I saw your blog come across my news feed on facebook. What an insightful and inspirational blog! I hope you are doing well and enjoying life with your family in Georgia!


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