I am deeply convicted this morning about my attitude toward my son. Jon and I get up very early (he teaches 9th grade Social Studies, so it’s up with the birds for us). One of the first things I usually do is plot out a to-do list for the day. I actually get excited, thinking of all the things I can accomplish when I set my mind to it.
And then I remember Riley. The tag-along. Gee, where can I put him while I…? How can I keep Riley entertained when I’m…? Sure, some tasks MUST get done on a given day. But do I really have to transplant tomatoes today? Do we really need scones for breakfast tomorrow or can we eat toast so that my son gets a piece of my time?
I’m very sad that it’s still such a struggle to give up my will and my agenda for my own baby. When Baby #2 appears in a couple months, I’ll have much less choice in the matter. Will I be a grumbling mess at that point, or will I have learned to share (a skill I need to be able to teach by example)?
There’s a great picture in the Bible (Revelation 3:20) of Jesus standing at someone’s front door, patiently knocking. He’s not boorish. He won’t bang down the door or break a window and pounce in with a ninja-roll. He waits and knocks. It’s up to me to let him in to my heart, into my whole life, every single moment, if I’m going to experience his love.
It was a very convicting picture when I realized that applied to Riley as well. “Behold, I toddle up to the door, and slap it hard.” That’s how the Riley translation would read! Then he’ll sit there, watching for me, two middle fingers in his mouth, clutching Bunny with the other hand.
1. Greet him at the door with a chipper “Hey, there! Why don’t you read this book? Or go play with your toys? Mommy’s busy right now.” I did show him some attention, after all.
2. Fling the door open wide with a sincere “Come on in! I’m glad you’re here! After I wipe the egg off my hands, would you like to read that book together? Then we can stir and sample this batter. We’ll be taste-testers! (hug) I love you…”
I can welcome him in to every part of my day. Babies are smart. They pick up on tone, temperament, emotional undertones. He’ll know if I’m irritated that he’s “taking me away from what I really wanted to do.”
Jesus said “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.” (Rev. 3:20) And he also said, “Whatever you do to one of the least of these, you do to me.” (Matthew 25:40) If I leave my son on the doorstep in favor of some meaningless task, I’m leaving the King out there too.
Welcome one, welcome both. And the meaningless task becomes an opportunity to get close, learn each other’s smiles, and form a deep and lasting relationship. That goes for the son and the King.