Zorbs and Swings

August 3rd, 2009

There are many theories about newborns that were quickly debunked when Sadie’s presence cascaded into our life.  I’ve already written about many of them at length.  The fact that little babies don’t crumble to pieces in your arms.  The truth about the inner monologue going on in their little heads.  The magnitude of liquid that can come from their mouths at any given time. The lessons have been many.

From the get-go, I was struck by the fact that Sadie craved motion.  You would think that these little fragile ones would be all about the stillness . . . that they would want to lie peacefully in your arms and slip into sweet sleepy serenity amidst complete stillness and quietness.

Nope, I was wrong again.  I suppose that I was innately aware of the truth . . . I theorize that we all are.  Why?  Because the first thing we naturally do when handed a baby is to bounce them, swing them, or rock them.  The rocking is the motion we gravitate to, but I don’ think I ever truly considered the fact that Sadie preferred to be moving.

Laura and I have discussed the reasons for this many times.  It’s really quite simple.  Little darlings spend nine months in an environment that is anything but still and quiet.  Have you ever stopped up your ears with your fingers in the shower while letting the running water hit your head?  The noise inside your head is almost deafening.  That’s probably a similar auditory sensation to a baby being inside her mother’s womb.  Between the internal workings of all of the mother’s organs and the noise from the big world outside, little darlings are exposed to quite the symphony of sounds.

Besides just what they hear, they are also in constant motion.  I imagine life inside the womb like riding downhill inside of a Zorb . . . huge, inflatable balls that have a small area suspended inside them with elastic bands.  A person gets inside the inner chamber where they are kept safe from outside obstacles.  The only catch is that they are rolling end over end.


Yeah, I think that’s what it must be like for unborn babies.  Completely covered in a highly padded, inner compartment while the “Zorb” of mommy continues to move on the outside.  With all of the liquid, it must be like a zero-gravity environment . . . little unborn astronauts floating through “inner space.”

Considering these theories of “babytivity,” it is no surprise that when they emerge into the outside world, they love to move.  Rocked.  Bounced.  Thrown around on trampolines . . . well, maybe not, but you get the point.  Motion is comfort for them because it reminds them of the conditions they are most used to.

In the early days, Sadie’s favorite place to be was in her mechanized swing.  There were many days when fussiness abounded and the only respite that could be found emerged from time in the swing.  It was in the rocking back and forth with music or ambient noise playing, not the silence or complete stillness, that the savage, yet sweet, baby was finally soothed.

Sadie's Swing

I think that when we enter the “real world” of living out our faith that we falsely assume that moments of complete stillness are the only times that we will find purpose or comfort.  It’s so easy to approach life with the idea that life itself is a deterrent to spiritual growth.  If it wasn’t for this crazy schedule I’m leading, I’d have time to slow down and really work on my devotional time.  If we can just get through this difficult season, then things will settle down in our spiritual lives.  Man, life is just topsy-turvy right now . . . as soon as things level off, then . . .

What we often miss is the fact that the very turbulence of life can reveal to us the presence and comfort of our eternal Parent.  In other words, we were made for motion!  We were created to move in and out of the circumstances of life, even finding rest in the swing and sway of its unpredictability.

Maybe that’s why the Bible says that “we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”  (Romans 8:28 NLT)  “All things” covers a pretty wide gamut.  Suffering.  Hardship.  Sickness.  Even death. In other words, God is working in us through the back and forth seesaw of life itself . . . using the motion to show us His grace and glory . . . allowing us to find peace in the midst of life’s constant movement.

Our goal shouldn’t be to stop moving . . . as long as breath resides in us, the motion will be perpetual.  No, our goal should be to find comfort and rest amidst the movement.  Believe me, I’m still working on this one; but I’m beginning to realize that God’s goal for me is not to sit still.  Therefore, that should not be the goal I have for myself.  Avoiding the challenges of whatever today may swing at me will produce in me nothing but mediocrity, worry, and weak faith.

Like Sadie, I desire the rhythm that comes in the safety of my Father’s arms and the motion of the life He has placed me in.  What about you?


~ by johndriver on August 3, 2009.

One Response to “Zorbs and Swings”

  1. The fact that God uses the motions, and sometimes “roller coaster” effects reminds me of the time I nearly wrecked my aunt’s Altima. For the months previous to that I had been living comfortably and “independent.” But in that moment of distress I wanted them to be there and take care of it all, and this is how I think God wants us to be with him. Only not to leave the stage of dependency. I still find it completely fascinating that the God of the Universe would want to have a relationship with us.

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