We were at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis (website) a few weeks back visiting “China” – one of the many exhibits there designed for hand’s on learning.  This particular exhibit is about wildlife (panda) conservation and it educates about the growth cycle of pandas.  As I sat there to taking a photo of my three-year old, Adelyn, the sign above her caught my eye “Baby Pandas Grow Up Fast.”  I thought, “yes they do…” My little panda has grown too fast!

It’s in moments like this that I find myself in awe of how quickly little ones grow up.  It’s in moments like this that I find myself concerned for the future.  It’s also moment’s like this where I feel vulnerable because I can only hope that I’m raising my little one to respect nature, others, the environment, and to not follow ‘popular opinions’ for the sake of not creating division or standing up for what is fair, just, and right.

I come from a very traditional background and a super conservative region; but, I also recognize that I do not have all the answers.  I’ve also found that as I’ve been away from my super conservative region, I’ve changed my beliefs, I’ve learned; and I have also grown.  I’ve come to find a God of Love – a God that is Love – a God that is in all things and through all things we seek love. I’ve come to find a God that is very dynamic – there for everyone regardless of their life journey – a God without bound and without finite vessel.

I think often we try to fit “God” into our little box.  I know I’ve allowed my limited understanding to confine my God in the past; but, I don’t think there are near the bounds on God’s love as we place on Love.  We become set in our path and do not allow anything to challenge us or our thoughts; but, is this the true will of God – is this in the name of Love?  As we raise little ones – the most vulnerable – do we fill them with our bias, or do we allow them to seek out their own relationship with God?

My little panda, has grown up fast.  She’s only three, but she loves going to “church school” with ‘her’ Val or Cindy.  (She’s pretty possessive of her teachers).  It’s my prayer that my little one continues to grow and learn from these amazing ‘teachers,’ and mentors – that she learns from them, their perspective, their struggles, and how they’ve overcome.  Also, that she is receptive to other’s opinions; that she stands up for what is right; that she grows up continuing to respect her community and environment.

Though, I don’t think I have anything to be concerned about; she’s certainly a thoughtful, peaceful, inquisitive bundle of joy… all this I am reminded about as I look up and am reminded “Baby pandas grow up fast”