Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Decided

Since my last post was titled "Ambivalent," this one is "Decided" since I have decided that I'll go with Blogger for our family blogscape. (Not sure if blogscape is a word, but I like it ...) I've also decided that I'm sticking with one-word adjective titles to my blogs for now.

No reason for that, really. Why not? :)

Baby J is walking like a pro now and even running some. She thinks walking is the best game ever and is currently content to just walk around, which makes my job pretty easy! She has had some nasty spills, but she typically just gets right back up like nothing happened ... that is, unless she's tired! She has seven teeth now (four top, three bottom) and at least one more on the way on the bottom. I'm not sure how much longer the nickname "Baby J" will be appropriate, since I've started getting the "Toddler Bulletin" emails from babycenter.com now instead of the "Baby Bulletins" ... a one-year-old isn't a toddler yet, is she? I suppose she does spend most of her time toddling around, and she's surely not an infant anymore, but I don't know if I'm ready to admit that she's a toddler. How long can I hold out?

(I will admit I cried when I got the "Toddler Bulletin" email last night. I had Lee pause the DVD we were watching so I could tell him about it ... his response: "You had me pause it for that?" Hmm... guess it didn't hit him as hard!)

Yesterday we spent the afternoon at the park somewhat accidentally. You see, we have a membership at Marbles, the kid's museum in downtown Raleigh, and I thought it would be a fun outing since Jocelyn and I both needed to get out of the house.

However, I failed to recall that the museum is closed on Mondays.

So we crossed the street, and I put Jocelyn down to see if she wanted to walk in the park area across from it ... and, boy, did she! She was all about it! I don't know if she would have noticed, at least for a while, if I had walked away and driven off. I kept following her closely and wondering if she would look back, if not to make sure I was there then to smile at the fun of it. Every so often I would even say her name and get no response! She discovered that the inch-high layer of decaying leaves was the softest place to walk (and fall when she lost her balance!) and didn't want to walk anywhere else. I relocated her to the grassy areas a few times, mostly because it was warmer there and I was not dressed warmly enough to play outside even though Jocelyn was, but she always headed straight for the leaves. Every five minutes or so she would lean down, pick up a dead leaf, and hand it to me, but otherwise she just ignored me and marveled in her independent mobility! Toward the end of our outing, she decided to walk on the paved and bricked areas, which was fine for a while (and I'll post some pictures I took with my phone once I figure out how to download them) until she tripped and skinned her hands. She didn't hurt them badly, but it was bad enough that we were done with the park for the day. She just wanted to be held by Mommy, and she was a sad sight with one bloody thumb, a broken fingernail, and gravel on her face, shirt, knees, and hands. (By bathtime last night Lee couldn't even find any scratches on her hands, so it wasn't too bad.)

All that made me think ... how often do I toddle through life, stubbornly asserting my own independence, while God is there watching me and wondering at His creation?
(The answer, sadly, is very often.)

He is calling out my name, and I go on my way, delighting in trash just as Baby J delighted in the decaying leaves. Just as Baby J handed me leaves, I act like it's a gift when I stop to give God twenty minutes of prayer or Bible study from the time that He has given me. And I often only truly acknowledge Him when I'm wounded in some way, just as Jocelyn didn't acknowledge me until she skinned her hands. In Philipians 3:8, Paul writes
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.

So Paul considered everything that wasn't part of knowing his Lord to be "rubbish." It's even more convicting when I look up the word "rubbish" in the original Greek. It's σκύβαλον , which would be more literally translated as "dung" or, in the full definition from Strong's Concordance, "any refuse, as the excrement of animals, offscourings, rubbish, dregs; of things worthless and detestable." Actually, some scholars even suggest that the Greek word here (only found in this verse in the Bible and no other) would be better translated as the four-letter profanity for manure in English. I'm not scholarly enough to know if the Greek is that harsh, but I do know that I'm not there yet in my desire to choose Christ over what the world offers. I still find myself among the decaying leaves, the dung that this world has to offer, with such cluelessness that I sometimes try to hand God a dead leaf, a piece of the rubbish, as if it's a gift. How He must look at me and consider me a sad sight, not because of skinned knuckles but rather because of my calloused heart which still loves things of this world at times more than One who created them. I want to be able to say truthfully that knowing Christ is my treasure and that all else is trash, but I can't honestly say that today. Lord, transform my heart and desires!