Thursday, June 16, 2011

How my son is raising me

"A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we."
G.K. Chesterton

My two year old son is full of boundless energy. He simultaneously delights and exhausts me. Yet he also invites me to pay attention to the world in a way that reveals the nature of God in ways I hadn't considered, as Chesterton so masterfully describes in his observation of children.

On a more sobering level, my son invites me to ponder the junk in my heart that I would rather ignore, the anger that flares up so easily when I am annoyed by his stubborn will or his consuming curiousity, the reluctance I have to embrace him when he has lashed out at me with the typical intensity of a two year old. But how else will we learn to "bless those who curse" us without the instruction we receive from our defiant children whom we love so deeply?

Have you ever considered how God uses ordinary relationships with family and friend to form us? How is God using your family members to conform you to the image of His Son? What is he teaching you through those around you? What are they revealing to you about the character of God?

No comments: