Monday, July 13, 2009
"Watch Me! Mommy, watch me!! Mommy, Mommy, watch me! Watch this!"
Have you ever been to a swimming pool with a small child just beginning to love the freedom of water? Have you ever heard the incessant "watch me, watch me, watch me"? Did you watch? Did you watch the whole thing?
I heard it today. Many, many times. The pleas of my 3 kids calling out for my attention. They were asking for a moment. My undivided attention for a moment to see what they could do. They couldn't do it just a moment ago, but now they can. They couldn't. Now they can. And could I please take notice? And be happy with them?
You know where this is going, don't you? Yep, another life lesson straight from the heart of God spoken to me through my little disciples.
Here's the thing. When the "watch me" starts, usually it's after they've already accomplished the goal. That's when they want to show somebody.
Do we do this? Do we ask God if he's pleased? Do we say, "Look at me, God! Look what I did!"?
I think more often than not, we do the exact opposite. We feel so beaten down for our failures, we're too ashamed to ask God to watch. We think He'll be disappointed with our successes because we didn't always succeed. We might call up a friends and say, "Hey, I did it! Today, I didn't yell at my kids. I relied upon the power of God's spirit and I stayed patient." But rarely do we seek affirmation from God, Himself. He saw us yesterday and we know it. And we think that somehow affects how He sees us today. The Bible tells us that the love of God is unconditional. Not depended upon any condition: past, present or future.
That's the lesson. Do the thing. Whatever it is God's having you do and instead of relying on another person's affirmation, look straight to heaven. Then wait. Wait until you know your Creator loves you and is pleased with you.
The thing about watching my kids perform their wonderful feats of water agility and bravery, is that if you knew the truth, I've usually already seen it. They just didn't know I was watching. Or sometimes, I watch the event, but I don't wait for them to surface the water and look in their eyes, so they know that I was really watching the whole thing.
So, of course, God knows what you're doing and how you're doing it. But do you know that he knows? Do I think God is so smitten with me that He'd like to see that one again? Do I actively engage his attention, his affirmation, his love in my life? Or do I rely on humans to fill those needs.
Okay, last one. I was wondering what it was like before I had kids of my own at the pool. What did I do then? I sat in a lounge chair and read my book, and when I began to sweat, I'd go cool off in the water. (At least, that's what I do now, the one time a year when I'm at the pool without my kids.) And it's great fun to occupy my own thoughts. But, I don't remember those moments. I do remember the first time I saw Caleb put his whole head in the water. I remember the time Clarie jumped off a high-dive. I remember seeing Luke's face break out in an uncontrollable grin the first time he swam the length of a pool with arm floats.
And I'm so glad I was there. I'm thrilled that we have those memories, and that my kids know I was watching. I'm thankful they engaged with me today even if yesterday, they blatantly disobeyed. God loves us. He is watching. And I think sometimes He's just waiting for my face to reappear through the crystalline water and make eye contact. So I know that He knows I'm doing it.