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Posts Tagged ‘Melanie’

The grandbaby is walking.  She successfully took three or four unassisted steps in my direction on Wednesday; later in the day, she treated Uncle Gabe to the same demonstration of her new skill. 

In case you haven’t spent much time around a baby lately, let me refresh your memory of the process and significance of those steps:  For months, all of her “peeps” have encouraged any activity that appeared to be remotely related to the eventual walking skill.  Since she was only several months old, she has indicated the desire to be pulled up on her feet from a sitting or even lying position–and, of course, we have all thought that was Wonder Baby stuff and have cooperated with meeting that “need”.  Her mama has said over and over, “We want to encourage her to ‘cruise’ around the furniture at your house as much as possible, because we don’t have so many good places for her to do that at our house.”  In more recent days, any family gathering has included two adults spacing themselves a short distance apart, facing one another.  The baby is stood on her feet in front of one adult, facing the other, who gleefully holds out his or her arms, in hopes that this will encourage Baby to take those much-awaited first steps.

And now, it has happened.

Imagine the following:  Now that Melanie has taken those first steps, we totally stop encouraging her walking in any other way.  We get irritated when she chooses to crawl instead of walk, even though for her it is more familiar and faster at this point in her development.  As the weather gets cooler, no shoes or boots are provided for those little feet which will more and more often carry her into life’s adventures (Last winter, she was carried everywhere.).

Maybe you can see where I’m going with this.  I was pondering the parallels in spiritual life.  Don’t we who call ourselves Christ-followers sometimes do the same thing with those who are just beginning to walk with Jesus?  We invest lots of time and encouragement before they begin to walk–we call it being “seeker friendly” or “doing evangelism”.  Then they take those first steps and we are all excited.  We may even keep track of the dates and of the numbers who start walking.  Then, far too often, we do the spiritual equivalent of the above paragraph–we stop encouraging, we get impatient or irritated or critical when our “baby” reverts sometimes to pre-walking activities, we fail to provide the tools for that new walker to make it successfully and safely through the challenges faced by all who walk. 

I’m going to keep on observing and pondering this process–I’m pretty sure I’m going to see a lot more than a cute little sweetheart delighting her family with her latest trick!   

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