A few nights ago my daughter was in a very talkative mood. It was just one question after another... “What if this happens? What if that happens?” So many hypotheticals coming from my 5 year old... it really was mind-boggling.
I responded as best I could (and really, who knows what would happen if an octopus met a baby bird?) but after one question was answered (to her liking) she had no less than three more waiting. It was exhausting, yet so cute and entertaining. She probably would have kept going, except eventually Daddy announced it was her bedtime.
All those questions got me thinking. How many pointless "What ifs" do we worry about throughout our day? How much time have we wasted worrying about things that never happened? It's good to make plans, for the expected as well as the unexpected... but sometimes it's best to let go and see what happens.
So yesterday I did just that. I told the kids to get dressed, and without any real expectations other than having fun, we took off down the road for the park. We (yes, all of us) took turns going down the big slide and getting on the teeter-totters. Then my son found a basketball someone had left behind. We played for awhile, and although I'm absolutely no good at the game, my kids thought I was awesome when I made a few baskets. Not long after that, my daughter found a frog, which she lovingly named 'Mr. Toad,' hiding at the base of a tree. Naturally (for my daughter anyway) she then took it down the slide, on the swings, and around the baseball diamond. Someone left a pop bottle in the grass, so we all had a talk about picking up after ourselves, and the importance of keeping places like the park clean for others.
I didn't expect all that to come from just playing at the park. I knew slides, swings, and teeter-totters would be there, but the unexpected discoveries are what really made the trip interesting. It turned out we did a lot more than just have fun, because we were open to anything.
So what did I learn from talking with my daughter and playing at the park? Let life just happen sometimes, and have a little fun along the way. Take your focus off all the "What ifs" of life and deal with what is. Isn't that what really matters anyway?
So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today. -Matthew 6:34