When the boys were little they had a plastic puppy named Scooch. Scooch had batteries in him and he’d “walk” a few feet, stop and bark, walk a little farther, bark more. His legs didn’t “walk”; instead he had two wheels on the bottom of his plastic body that propelled him forward. He was one of those toys that every time his batteries died, we just never had the right size batteries for him….bummer. (I can’t be the only parent to play the “battery” card, right?) But he was a favorite and he hung around for a long time. Eventually the long days of barking and the dark nights in the bottom of the toy box took their toll and one of the two wheels on the bottom of Scooch broke. But just one. After that Scooch did still bark, but when he tried to walk, he would only go in circles. It didn’t matter what type of floor we put him on or how much of a push he was given, Scooch only went around and around and never moved forward.
Sometimes I wonder if God looks down on my life and sees the same thing. There are times where the forward movement is noticeable and the barking is loud. Things are lining up, making sense, and I feel like I’m learning a lot, growing, and moving in the right direction. I get excited to share what I’ve been learning and I look for ways to spur forward movement in others. It’s fun and contagious and it’s a season of life I enjoy.
Then there are times when I’m the broken Scooch. I get bogged down in something and can’t find my way back out. I get to an impasse and feel like I can’t move forward until *this* gets fixed or healed. The more discouraged I get, the more I spin in the same circle. The real Scooch likeness here though is the fact that the thing that has me stuck and frustrated this time is actually always the same struggle. It’s the same script I’m continually trying to rewrite, it’s the same lie I’m always fighting, it’s the same lesson I have to keep learning and relearning. The tracks of this circle ingrained deeply into the floor bear witness to how many times I’ve gone around this very path.
I know God is patient and loving and he’ll keep meeting me in this circle. He’ll keep showing up and setting me straight. I can trust that he always brings loads of grace and compassion and a light that chases away all darkness. Even so, I can’t help but think about how much more forward progress I would make if I didn’t continue to get stuck. How much faster could I grow if I didn’t have to relearn the same lesson over and over again?