Sunday, January 13, 2008

But I'm only 28!!!

This last week I made an important discovery. I was brushing my teeth when I first saw it. It was sneering at me and just daring me to grab the scissors. It was located just above my right ear. It was a gray hair, growing out of my very own head and shining like a neon sign on a dark night. I asked Susie to confirm it was there. I guess it’s just another sign post on the road to getting older. I’ve noticed a few of these over the last few years, things like how its harder to keep the pounds off, things like how I feel a little sore the next morning after snowboarding or playing basketball. Maybe someday I’ll finally be grown up. But that’s not really the subject of this blog, just a side note. For more on my internal struggle with growing up, here’s something I wrote about a year and a half ago on that subject.

Back to being a daddy (I guess that would also be considered a milestone of growing up). It’s been hard to update the blog more than once a week, but I’ll try to remain at least that faithful to it. I would probably blame it on life being very busy lately, but I have a feeling that with school starting tomorrow and Susie getting more pregnant by the minute the time will continue to be scarce. (And to correct my last sentence: can Susie actually get more pregnant? I guess I’d have to say no, since you’re either all pregnant or not pregnant. She can certainly get larger, but I don’t think that would make her more pregnant.) Susie’s doing great. She started school last week, is still healthy, is still sleeping a lot, and is still avoiding chicken.

One thing I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is about how I will do as a parent. More and more when I hear about trying situations with kids or witness one myself it gets me thinking about how I would react as a parent in that situation. One thing that I’ve kept in mind a lot is the message I was trying to get across when I spoke to the youth last Wednesday night. I heard a lady make this point a couple months ago and I’ve been mulling it over ever since. John 21 tells the story of Jesus reinstating Peter. I think the thing I’ve always noticed about this story is that Jesus asks Peter three times if Peter loves him. This is obviously symbolic as a reference to Peter’s three denials. One thing I always missed, though, was that each exchange between Peter and Jesus was played out in a specific order. Jesus would ask Peter if he loved Jesus. Peter would reply that he did, and then Jesus would give him a command.

This is huge, because I agree with the lady who explained this to me that Jesus is much more interested in our relationship than he is with enforcing the rules. Jesus wanted to make sure that Peter loved him before he gave him a command. After we have established that love and relationship with Jesus his guidelines for our life will be a joy to follow (I John 5:3 – “And his commands are not burdensome….). So as I mull this over I think that our overall strategy needs to be getting this child to love Jesus, because if we can do that, teaching the child Jesus’ commands will be a lot easier. And I think this also parallels with our own relationship with our child, because if we have a loving relationship with our child he/she will be much more inclined to obey us as parents. That sounds easy enough, right? Hmmm, well, I’m not naïve enough to think it will be easy. But one of the verses we read at church today sums it up very well when God tells Joshua (1:9): “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

This also has major implications in my own life, because viewing my relationship with God as an actual relationship is a major concept that I’ve been internally wrestling with a lot over the last six months or so. I’m no longer trying to follow rules because they’re good ideas to live by. I’m trying to follow them because not doing so affects a relationship I hold dear, just like cheating on Susie would affect my relationship with her. Maybe this is a concept that everyone else has a good grasp on and I’m behind the curve, but lately it’s made a huge difference to me in how I view the world overall and how I go about daily living. Maybe God was waiting for me to start grasping it. Maybe that was the thing he wanted me to get before he let me have a kid.

And by the way, I’m keeping the gray hair. Check out Proverbs 16:31: “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.” And I thought Isaiah 46:4 was pretty cool too: “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

1 comment:

WorshipCity said...

I resist the grays! My crown of splendor is this long flowing blond hair :)