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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Swinging Lesson

     While I know that spring actually begins in March, it is May 1st that always seemed like the beginning of spring to me. When I read my friend’s article on swinging, I thought about May 1st and asked if I could post it for you to read. I do think it is appropriate for this section on teen years, because the message of the story is so right for the teens who are struggling to transition from a child to an adult.

     Pam is a dear friend from the Faith Writers group who met the Lord through her beloved, Norm, at the age of 18. They married and have been together ever since. Pam is a full 12 days younger than I am. She’s a versatile writer but devotional writing is her favorite. Enjoy the following springtime offering!

Swinging Lesson
by Pam  Ford Davis

One of my fondest childhood memories is swinging. Let your mind wander back to those early years...

From a child's eye view, a swing is big and exciting. You sit on the
swing and grip tightly the chains or ropes securing the swing to the
tree or swing-set. It looks so easy, but how can you get up high like
the other children you have envied? You try, but the swing just twirls
around in a circle. Your feet drag against the ground; this is not much

Soon, you see your father coming and you yell out, "Daddy, give me a
push!" He steps behind you and gives a strong push, followed by several
more. You begin to soar! It's wonderful while it lasts! You seem to be
as high as rustling leaves atop the trees. Gradually, the swing slows
down and you drift closer and closer to the ground. Feeling safe, you
jump from the swing and run off to play on the slide, monkey bars and

Later, you notice older children on the swing set. Nobody is pushing
them; yet, they swing higher and higher. They really hold your
attention. When one finishes you ask, "Can you teach me how to swing?"
He laughs and replies, "It's easy. You just sit down on the swing and
swing!" He walks away and you feel very small and just plain dumb.

Each time you return to the playground memories resurface. Oh, how you would love to learn how to swing You want so much to learn how to swing all by yourself. One afternoon your father goes along and after he gives you a good start on the swing, you turn to him with imploring eyes
asking, "Daddy, will you teach me how to swing?"

He grins and tenderly replies, "Yes, little lady. I think you are ready
for a lesson! Hang on tightly to your ropes and just push your feet
forward, then back, forward-back, forward-back, again and again. See,
you are starting to go higher! Do you feel muscles in the back of your
legs hurting? It's hard work I know, but you are getting higher. The
more you push, the easier it will be, forward-back, forward-back.” The
lesson ends and you walk home hand-in-hand with your hero. You feel
dizzy and short of breath but very proud of yourself. You have learned
how to swing!

Days, weeks and months pass quickly by. Now, swinging is so easy you
take it for granted and only faintly remember a time when you could not
swing without assistance. One evening, just before sunset, your father
tousles your hair and says, "Let's go swing!"
You eagerly accept the opportunity to have his undivided attention.
Arriving at the swings, you remember how things were before, when you
could not swing by yourself.

"Daddy, will you push me?" Quietly, he moves directly behind you. You
cannot see him; you only feel his hands placed against the top of your
back. His hands are gentle, yet firm. You expect him to give one strong
push, maybe two and then you will do the rest of the work. He surprises
you saying, "Relax. Don't pump your legs forward and back. Let me push
you." It's incredible! You go higher and higher, reaching such a height
that if you did not trust your father, you would beg him to stop.

You walk back home with little chatting; suddenly he stops just before reaching the house.
"Daughter, your life ahead will be like swinging. Sometimes problems
will seem so big and so hard to handle. Friends may not be much help.
They may even laugh at you as you ask for help. God will be there to
give you the push you need. You will work your muscles of faith,
forward-back, forward-back, and learn lessons of how to walk in faith.
The more you exercise your faith, the easier it will be to follow His
directions. Like a swing's ropes or chains, He is our lifeline. Hang on
tight! He will invite you to relax and let Him take over."

As an adult I welcome the helpful hands of my heavenly Father.
"Be still, and know that I am God (Psalms 46:10a NKJ)

He alone strengthens me and allows me to soar!
"But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31 NKJ)."

You are never too old to learn how to swing. Can't you just sense His hands upon your back?

If you would like to know more about Pam Ford Davis and/or her writing, try:

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