Photo by Alvimann on Morgue File.
Whether a person, a pet, an object, or a place, write about something or someone you connected with from the very first second.
Connections can be funny things. Some of the things we hold most dear in our lives, at one time, we thought little to nothing of at all. For some, we may have been, at best, ambivalent towards it; or, at worse, disliked it altogether. Yet, sometimes things have a way of growing on us . . . and, sometimes, we have a way of growing on them. It may be our immaturity or selfishness that causes us to overlook things that one day will be important to us. It may be the callousness of our hearts that cause us to be contemptuous concerning things that are really good and wholesome for our lives and souls.
It is a human trait to bend towards selfishness. We are like Frost’s winter-burdened trees that are:
. . . dragged to the withered bracken by the load,And they seem not to break; though once they are bowedSo low for long, they never right themselves:
Our souls are dragged down by the load and bowed in upon themselves. Yet, we like our solidarity. We revel in our status as supreme being of our own little, trite universe. We are the sun of our cosmos and everything, we feel, revolves around us. There is only one problem to all this self-god stuff, it isn’t real. No matter how hard we try, and some try their hardest, it just doesn’t work. No matter how much we may believe it, it never is true. Humanism, for all its zeal and ferocity, it has never, and will never, be able to make it true.
Some of the things I hold most dear now in my own life, at one time I gave little to no thought to. I once, as we all are/were, was antagonistic toward Christ. I cared nothing about his love or the grace offered to me by the Father through his Son. I was unmoved by his sacrifice for me on the cross. I was unconcerned with his resurrection and soul-saving power. I felt I had no need for such things. I was self-sufficient. I was master of my own domain.
There is a saying in these parts, you are a big fish in a little pond. Well, there is no smaller pond than one’s own self.
My wife, who I love as much as life itself, I once had no feelings toward. When we were kids I did not much care for her. Of course, I was your average American boy, who was all about being with the guys and shunning girls. We were at that age still where you declare boys only clubs. I used to torment her. Everything from dismissing her to putting her in figure-four leg locks (think Ric Flair!).
Thankfully, God’s grace is persistent and, well, gracious. It truly takes a work of God to melt such a stubborn heart and overrun a prideful soul.
There have been things I have connected with instantly. The one thing that comes to mind immediately are my daughters. From the moment they were born I knew I would love and cherish them forever. I will never get over the moment I held each of them for the first time. The moment I looked on their little, pink wrinkled flesh for the first time and saw the most beautiful sight a man could ever see. You count their fingers and toes, making sure each is accounted for. You check eyes, ears and nose to make sure everything is there and in the right place. You envision this little bundle of squirming flesh in days and years to come: crawling, walking, first words, starting school, boyfriends (yikes!), graduation and all that comes in life.
In that moment I felt no selfishness, no sense of self-sufficiency. I felt humbled and small, smaller than the little girl I was holding in my arms. God’s grace and love have ways of breaking through our dull and dimmed minds from time to time. When they do, the light shines in fierce and bright, blinding us and awakening us, if only for a moment, from our conceited delusions and self-absorbed darkness. The birth of my two daughters were such moments.
I have failed at the task far more than I care to admit. But, God’s grace is sufficient. His grace is the truly sufficient thing, not me. The love of Christ compels me on, continuing to strive to be the best father I can be.
There are some connections that last only for a short while. Then, there are those connections that will be eternal. In the end, I am grateful I am not my own god. I am thankful that there is a God above me, who is my Father and teaches me how to be a better father to my own children. I am thankful that Christ is all in all and is sufficient for my every need. I am grateful, that in Christ, I have learned what true sufficiency truly is and I am no longer deceived by the silly notion of self-sufficiency.