Blythe has this blanket. Her "bankie". She got it as a baby gift, and around four months old when we stopped swaddling her, she immediately became attached to the thing.
We soon referred to it as her magic blanket.
We tried to find other blankets in case something happened to THE blanket, or it needed to be washed during a nap time or something, and we found two that were nearly the same. But they weren't exactly the same so they just wouldn't do.
At a certain point in time, we had to cut her off a bit. She only got her blanket when she went to bed, and sometimes in the car. Of course, if she got hurt or was sick or something set her off and she couldn't calm down…out would come the magic blanket.
To this day, when it is bedtime we give her her blanket and she snuggles in and falls right to sleep. She doesn't need us there. But she needs her blanket.
I was thinking the other day about this "security" of hers. When we drop her off in the nursery at church and she is a little hesitant, we hand her her blankie and she is fine. It comforts her.
And I thought, "How silly would it be if every adult had something like that they had to have with them wherever they went?" Like what if you walk into a meeting with your boss and he's holding his teddy bear, while you drag your blanket behind you?
It's a ridiculous thought, isn't it?
But then I realized: we all still have our own security blankets, they are just harder to recognize once you're an adult.
Some people place their security in their job. Others in their money. Some in their families. Some place them in their possessions, or their home, or their health. Still others place their security in whatever addiction they have because they feel like they are in control of it.
I remember in college hearing a sermon in which the pastor talked to us about our need to feel safe all the time. How this desire for constant safety leads us to be tempted by fear and self-control: we are either in a perpetual state of fear, feeling our safety is being threatened, or we try to micro-manage every facet to feel like we have everything under our control.
And so we make things our security blankets. And then we turn these security blankets into our idols. And then we try to control them. And when we can't control them, we are afraid.
I was reminded of this again when I was reading Jonah the other day. While he is in the belly of the great fish, having already run from God, Jonah realizes: "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. "
I know Blythe will outgrow her security blanket at some point.
But I wonder when I'll trust God enough to get rid of mine?
Am I ready to stop forfeiting the grace that could be mine?