You Can’t Climb Your Mountain Sucking on Your Thumb!

Recently we visited our nine-month-old grand daughter, Simone. She is a remarkable spirit. We have lived several decades longer than Simon but she taught us a valuable lesson in just a short afternoon. We don’t know if she fully grasps the lesson herself but in due time she will.

During our visit Simone was bent on climbing the stairs to the second floor of her home. Those stairs were a formidable mountain that loomed before our nine month old but she was undaunted. She worked with great intensity to master the art of stair climbing, while at the same time she was enjoying that great infant pleasure of sucking her thumb.

When she quit her thumb-sucking and dedicated all of her limbs and attention to climbing she achieved dramatic successes. She had better balance and more strength to bring to her task. The moment she lapsed back into her thumb-sucking mode and still tried to climb, she realized limited progress. Several times she experienced some alarming tumbles and hard bumps. Wails of anguish and tears followed.

I gently suggested, “Simone, you can’t climb your mountain sucking on your thumb.” She gave me that, “Well what do you know about things like this?” look. She gets that look from her mother. Simone kept on trying to scale her mountain while continuing to suck her thumb. At that moment it dawned on me. This is a pretty interesting allegory for life.

How many of us on a daily basis find ourselves doing a lot of adult thumb-sucking? Just like Simone, we divert valuable resources from the achievement of our life’s goals. We do things that slow or impede our climb to the top of our mountain. Often, we fail to do those things that will propel us forward and upward.

Our adult thumb-sucking may be manifested in a poor attitude, procrastination, or time wasting activities. We find ourselves doing things that may feel good but are not carrying us forward to the top of our mountain. We major in minors. We seek instant gratification at the exclusion of progress for the long-term. We avoid hard work and take the path of least resistance. Consequently, we suffer tumbles and hard bumps.

We allow discouragement, self-doubt and unbelief to seep into our lives. We retreat to our places of comfort and fail to reach out. We blame others for our lack of progress and we whine and pout. In a figurative sense we revert to adult thumb-sucking.

In a short while Simone will give up her thumb-sucking and bound up the stairs. She will use all of her God-given resources to achieve her goal. And that is the important lesson that Simone has for all of us. Use all we have available to us and grow and go from there!
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