I often find myself joking about how our kids live "a sheltered life". Not meaning that we try to shelter them, but that they don't really get many cultural opportunities. You know, to broaden their horizons. We do leave the house, but we don't get to experience new things all that often. We would love to have them not be sheltered in this sense of the word. We would love to give them all kinds of opportunities. I believe we grow and become better people by having new experiences and learning how to adapt to them. We're working on it, baby steps, people, baby steps. Anyway, I think this definition by dictionary.com gives a little idea of what a sheltered life really means...
protected from the troubles, annoyances, sordidness, etc., encountered in competitive situations: a sheltered life.
I'm probably going to ruin a future post by my sister, but hers will be much better anyway because it will involve many, many, many pictures. And really, pictures are just plain fun. At the risk of totally ruining her story, here goes...
I had talked to my sister this morning about the fact that they went out on a boat on a lake some time this past weekend and her 4-year-old boy got to go tubing. It was a very funny and entertaining story. I'll let her tell that part. :)
I figured the girls would enjoy the story and have fun knowing what Cousin C did this weekend. So, I told them all about the tubing, the boat, and the lake.
They thought it sounded rather delightful! "We should go to the lake and ride on a boat and go tubing! That would be JUST SOOOOOO MUCH FUN!"
Then I told them the part about hitting a wave, flying through the air, landing in the water, floating to the top because of his life vest, waiting for the boat to come back and get him. It was a very dramatic retelling of the story. I'm sure there were no embellishments.
Suddenly the girls were very concerned about Cousin C's safety. "Were there sharks in the water?" "Well, then were there crocodiles?" (Um, maybe we should consider restudying that in science this year?)
"What is in the water then?" they asked. To which I replied, "Fish and snakes." (Read here and here and about the girls' love for snakes.) After pondering the idea of snakes in the water, Miss C says, "Well, we don't want to be bit by snakes. We SHOULD JUST STAY IN THE BOAT!"
Now, there is a very good spiritual analogy here about never getting out of the boat for fear of the snakes in the water. The girls are sheltered in the physical realm by a mother who hates snakes and "lake swimming" more than anyone I know, and so, the likelihood of them being exposed is slim. However, in the spiritual realm, they are sheltered by a God who promises to protect them from the "snake." Now that is the kind of sheltering that I want them to experience forever!
Keep an eye out for the snake, girls, but don't ever stay in the boat because of him. Your God will protect you. DIVE IN and hang onto Him for the ride of your life! And when you hit a wave and get thrown into the water, don't worry, He'll help you up, because He is your Life Preserver! Thank you Lord for your protection!
"My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one." John 17:15