Monday, September 27, 2010

Imitators

Walking on the beach one day, it became apparent that no matter where I went, my daughter did as well.  When I ran toward the waves, giggling with delight, so did she.

When I walked slowly and talked of the beauty before us, she slowed down to experience it with me.  She never ran ahead, only waited to see where I would go, and then she walked confidently after me.

It struck me then, I had a little disciple on my hands, and she was following me without even thinking there might be another way.


It is hard to think ill of ourselves, in the deepest sense.


If you ask us, we might mention feeling too small for a big task or insignificant in the eyes of others or ashamed of our own shortcomings and sin.  But, if you were to catch us on an average day and investigate how we are moving forward, usually we are permissive with ourselves and have excuses for our negative thoughts, emotions, and actions.

God planned it well to give us these little imitators whose daily living tell the real story.

Little ducks, learn to walk, swim, and eat by following their mother everywhere and imitating her ways; so too our children are built to bond with their mother, follow her everywhere, and imitate her ways.  And this is the rub: our ways are not always as exemplary as they could be.

So what is a mother to do? 

We must become worthy of imitation.

We must find God, as Saint Augustine spoke, by seeking him within.

Evaluate values: are we concerned with the things of the soul or with outward signs of importance?  Revisit free time: are we occupying ourselves with things that build up or things that tear down; are we balancing rest and work, over working, or just zoning out through life? Look upon manner: are we gentle and hopeful of speech, or harsh and despairing, are we jovial or cynical, merry or mocking?  Think upon method: are we seeking always to serve or seeking to be served, do we ask ourselves “how can I help” or “who is here to help me”, do we deny ourselves or force our way? Do we live intentionally after God or do we only pretend to be after Him?

The areas of my life that were all about me, or allowable without children, were no longer going to be enough.  I was raising little ones to follow in my footsteps.

It is not enough to say I am sorry for my imperfections, but repentance must be firmly resolved as well.  It is not enough to pray for my sins to be gone, I must be willing to be humbled in my view of myself to truly eradicate them.  It is not enough to note what is wrong; I must be willing to change.

Sometimes I have to ask for for help, go to a trusted counselor, and walk through the problem areas in my life and hear how growth is possible.  Sometimes I have to be really honest with myself, how I am making excuses, thinking thoughts of self-centeredness, allowing emotional indulgences that lead to a sentimental life, or wishing for a life in which I am not willing to do the hard work.  And much of the time, when I have fully dedicated myself to Him, the grace of God fills up the holes without much effort from me.  This always amazes me, and leaves me so thankful for God’s mercy.

In what ways do you need to reevaluate your life?  What parts of yourself are you seeing reflected in your children’s poor attitudes and troubling tendencies?  Where might you need to center yourself on  Jesus ways and be so in your home and to your family? 

Know that there is grace, and even as you bravely confess the truths of your life, God rushes in.  He is a gentle guide toward all things good and right and true; his beauty can be yours also.  Know that as you imitate and walk in his ways, you bless your children with a mom who is worthy of imitation.

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.  And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” –Ephesians 5:1, 2

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

welcome to blog world..I can tell I will enjoy. How have you been since the intensive? How is school going for you...I keep up on FB. Hope this finds you have a great week.