This is a picture of my 3-year old son, Sebastian. He willingly let me take this picture of him in my office this morning, not knowing that he would inspire today's blog post. This kid is doing at least three things I would not ever do:
1. Stand on his head on office furniture. (I always use chairs properly. And I don't know how to stand on my head.)
2. Bare his midriff. (This mama of four knows how to be modest in public.)
3. Allow someone to take a candid photo of me. (I often feel very self-conscious of how I look.)
Sebastian is the youngest of four brothers, yet still enjoys life. He is very sweet to those he knows, and loves all babies. He is usually shy to those he first meets. but generally warms up to anyone who gives him a chance. He loves his parents, and regularly changes his mind on who his favorite brother is. He likes to pick out his own clothes for the day, and I often let him. I do make him change his clothes if what he has chosen is inappropriate for the occasion (sleeveless shirt on a frigid day). He likes to be independent, until he does not. He continues to learn new skills everyday, openly sings and dances in every room of the house, and I do not know of one person who dislikes the kid.
When I take myself too seriously, I just need to look at Sebastian. I often dwell on what chores I should be doing, what bills have to be paid, what needs to be done at work and church, and all of the other worries of a typical wife and mom. Sebastian cares more about being with people than about what work needs to be done. That is why he says he wants to help me cook dinner in the kitchen, or sit on my lap when I am trying to send a text message, or go with his daddy to the gas station.
Sebastian also loves reading his bible. He found an old copy of one of those handheld New Testament and Psalms and Proverbs half-bibles. He feels it is just his size! It contains absolutely no pictures, and he has quickly managed to break off the front cover of this olive green book by carrying it wherever he goes, including to bed. He loves to ask "Read this to me" right before going to bed, or taking a nap, or leaving the house for work. I marvel at how eager he is to read the Word, even though he cannot yet read one word. I usually read my Bible in the morning, and often don't pick it up again until the next morning, or when I need to look at it (like for a bible study, or to write a blog post). I get caught up with the immediate things to do, instead of thinking about the eternal. I am constantly telling my children about the things they need to do to make me happy (clean up their room, empty the trash cans, pick up their toys), rather than the things they need that will please God (obey His Word by loving Him, and loving others).
Maybe you can relate to me, or maybe you can relate more with Sebastian. I can focus so much on the world just around me, and how I fit into it, that I miss out on all of God's blessings. He gave us an opportunity to be joyful in our salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ! We are promised an eternity with the King! For all of the rules of society and laws of the land I try to follow, I will never be perfect. Rather than trying to please everyone else's expectations of me, I should be wanting to please God. What He asks of me is to spend time with Him in prayer and reading the Word. I should not just read about God, but put into action what He wants. Most importantly, though, is not about what I can do for Him, but what He has done for me.
Sebastian loves the Lord. He does not fully comprehend that love, but he is also not worried about that. Just as he knows his earthly parents love him, he knows the Father and Son do too. And in that, he has the confidence to do anything. Do I see everything as it is, or does upside down Sebastian see everything as it should be? He walks in faith, and I often walk in doubt. I do not want to do anything wrong, yet I mess up everyday. Sebastian messes up daily (just ask his brothers, or the dining room floor after breakfast), but he also knows he is forgiven. These burdens are not mine to bear alone.
I needed that reminder.
Galatians 3:23-26 Amplified Bible (AMP)
23 Now before faith came, we were kept in custody under the Law, [perpetually] imprisoned [in preparation] for the faith that was destined to be revealed, 24 with the result that the Law has become our tutor and our disciplinarian to guide us to Christ, so that we may be [a]justified [that is, declared free of the guilt of sin and its penalty, and placed in right standing with God] by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under [the control and authority of] a tutor and disciplinarian. 26 For you [who are born-again have been reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified and] are all children of God [set apart for His purpose with full rights and privileges] through faith in Christ Jesus.