I’ll always remember the day of my daughter’s first solo walk to primary school. She had been asking for weeks, but we, imagining all sorts of terrible dangers along the way – it was after all a half mile walk along one road at the same time as many other parents and children – had resisted. But she wouldn’t let it go and day after day she came with the same request. Finally, we ran out of reasons why she shouldn’t walk on her own, and off she went, rejoicing in her new-found independence.
After two days, however, she hesitated by the front door, and when I suggested that she might like me to come with her, she eagerly accepted the offer. It turned out that she wasn’t quite as ready as she thought for the independence she had so craved.
As human beings we crave independence – our hearts long to be autonomous and we resist the idea that God might have a place in our lives. But as my daughter discovered, true independence doesn’t come from rejecting submission to God, but rather grows out of the security of being in relationship with the One who created us, loves us, and desires the very best for us.