Today I went to the hospital to see a newborn and congratulate the proud parents. The baby is a little cutie, with a head full of dark hair and alert eyes. My Administrator Eric and his wife Erin are expecting their own little bundle of joy any day now. Another couple we’re friends with just had their little angel a couple of months ago.
I’d have another in a second. I admit. I love babies. Unfortunately, that’s just not in the cards for my wife and I. Three is going to be our limit, and not just because that’s all that will fit in the back seat of a Dodge Challenger. But I am so thankful for the great kids we have. Our oldest is going to be 11 soon (!), our middle child just turned 9, and our baby boy will soon be 3. It seems like they all should still be as small as the newborn I held today, but, as we all know, they grow up so fast. Remember the old Carter’s pajamas ad? “If they could just stay little ’til their Carter’s wear out.” *Sigh*.
So anyway, as I’m holding this little baby today I am, of course, thinking of all of mine when they were that size. Brandon, our 3 year old and only boy, is the freshest memory. As I look into the wide-open eyes of this little baby, I suddenly see the eyes of my 3 year old this morning, putting on a leather-looking jacket that is extremely similar to one I have (that is why I bought it, naturally). We bought it on sale a couple of weeks ago on clearance, and were going to put it up for next year because it’s still a little big. As he is walking to the door this morning to head to Mawmaw and Graddy’s house, he spots that jacket.
“I wear it!” he says, laying hands on it.
“Not yet, buddy,” I reply. “It’s too big for you. Let’s wait until the fall and it’ll fit you better.”
“No, Daddy,” he says, blue eyes full of earnestness. “I look like you!”
I could fully relate to what my little man was saying. When I was little–and long past little, in fact–I wanted to be like my Dad. I wanted to look like him, talk like him, dress like him–I even wanted my parents to change my name to “Larry”. I wanted to be as tall as my Dad, too–6’6″, at his peak of tallness. I fell about 6 inches short of that, though. I always joke that it’s my mom’s short genes.
It’s perfectly natural for a child to want to be like their father. My girls are the same way, to an extent. They both love cars and video games, and know more about Star Wars than you do. They want to play basketball and run track and be as pretty as their Mom. That’s they way it should be.
And that’s the way it should be for a follower of Christ. We want to be like our Heavenly Father. We want to look like Him, talk like Him, and all of the above. When we surrender our lives to Christ, we are commiting ourselves to the Way of the Father. We may fall short, of course–we can’t, after all, be perfect as our Father in Heaven is, but we can cast our lives into His perfect Hands and know that He will enable us to be more in Him than we could ever be on our own. Know, too, that nothing thrills our Father than when His children long to be like Him.
Oh, and about that jacket that was too big for Brandon?
Yep. He wore it.