Anita and I are really enjoying this fall break for Tennessee schools. Even though we're still right here in Moody, AL we have two boys who are school teachers in Tennessee and they're both here visiting for a few days this week! And not only do we get to visit with our two boys (Dane and Yates) and their incredible wives (Brinkley and Alyson) but also with our 10 month old granddaughter, Ella. Needless to say we're in hog heaven! If only Addison and Tam and Cobi were here we'd have the full crew.
It's amazing to see how fast a baby changes during the first year. Ella is getting so big ... she loves to laugh ... using her hands so well ... really trying to walk ... has a toothy smile ... beautiful red hair growing out ... personality coming out all over the place! Anytime she's in the room she's the absolute center of attention because she's so stinking cute.
But I was wondering this morning how she processes all that is going on around her. Sure, she's been to our house before but it's not her home. Things are obviously different looking, unfamiliar, probably a bit unsettling to some degree ... it has to be a weird feeling. And then there are these strange people all around, reaching for her, passing her around from person to person, making funny faces expecting a certain response, saying things that make no sense to her, etc. And she just calmly handles it like it's just part of the daily routine. How is she able to do that? I have two thoughts on it ... one highlighting sin and the other highlighting love.
Don't you like to be the center of attention? Many of us say we don't, but at the end of the day we most surely do desire for people to make a fuss over us. We long to be applauded, noticed, accepted, appreciated, welcomed, celebrated, and exalted. We get upset when we are overlooked, pushed aside, ignored, slighted, forgotten, or shortchanged in some way. We desire to be "god" of our own universe and for everyone else to understand and respond to us accordingly. We all did that as babies and we continue that struggle even today no matter how old we might be. This is consistent with our fallen nature and uncovers the sin we need to constantly repent of as those who are called to follow Christ and consider others as more important than ourselves.
But there's another critical factor at work in baby Ella's life that I believe gives her the confidence to handle change and strangeness with such ease ... and that's the presence of mom and dad. Sure, the world around may change, the circumstances different, the sights and sounds unfamiliar, the comfortable routine upset, etc. but the fact that mom and dad are present is what gives the ultimate comfort, security, calm, assurance, and confidence to handle it all. This is actually contrary to our fallen, sin nature; we typically try to live life without a dependent posture on our Heavenly Father.
So what's the call for us today as we look around and see things changing all around us, growing increasingly strange and scary, unfamiliar and outside our comfort zones, and actually promoting sin and evil? It's to look to our Heavenly Father who controls all history, who cares for us as His children, who promises to judge all evil on the final day, and who has demonstrated His amazing grace and love in and through His Son, Jesus Christ. Because we're His children He welcomes us to cry out to Him. Will you do that today? It doesn't make the strange stuff all go away, but it really does empower us to make it through the day with hope, contentment, and assurance.