Watching our 3 month old every minute of every day is hilarious. She is so active and expressive, but the thought keeps hitting me, that though she exudes so much energy and passion, she never actually goes anywhere. Kick-Kick. Shimmy-Kick. Shimmy-Shimmy. Nothing. Same spot she was when she was picked up and moved by her parents.
Have you ever felt like you are working so hard and you are going nowhere?
Quick clarification for a moment. We feel this emotion all the time in our culture: Discontentment. I know deep down that there are probably 25 things that cause me to wrestle with discontentment. Little things, big things, it doesn’t matter. However, that is not what I want to write about, so let’s push this tendency to the side for the moment, and talk about another aspect of this scenario with our daughter.
Little Lady Larson loves life. She is a social butterfly already and has killer good looks. She smirks at anybody and everybody, and loves to get moving and grooving with her little potato sack body. As I watch her shake it and have a good time, this thought came to me: I wonder when she will learn to crawl and move around. She has no idea what it means to be in control of your destination and adventures because she has no clue there is another phase to our growth and development as a human being.
We are the same way in our daily routines of life. We desire good things like opportunity to travel more, or give more, or do missions trips, or spend more time with our families and less time at work. These are all well-intentioned items, but we keep feeling a sense of hopelessness as we never grow any closer to our hopes and dreams.
We easily forget something: Before you can crawl, you need to be able to roll.
Tessa's Day Out
Tessa spent time at a women’s Bible study with Rachel this week, and as the women spoke encouragement into one another, learned about Jesus, and did life together, they took a super cute picture of the babies that were also in attendance. “Ahh, so cute!” we all oohed and awed. Yes, super cute, but this was a powerful moment.
At this moment, Tessa saw the oldest child roll over and do the cutest army crawl away from all the other babies, as if yelling, “See ya, chumps!” as she shimmied away. Tessa liked that sweet rolly-thingy. She tried it. And again. And some more times at home. Before we knew it, Tessa rolled over for the first time by herself 3 days later. Not only did she roll over on her tummy, but she even rolled back over onto her back. Now, though this is a proud dad moment, I want to focus in on what God is teaching us through these babies’ miraculous feats of strength and skill.
We cannot do life all by ourselves. We don’t know enough. We need two things: An EXAMPLE and a COMMUNITY.
Tessa's Example...And Ours
How glad we are that Tessa will grow up with the perfect example in Jesus. He shows us all the things we can do in His strength, that would be impossible on our own. He leads by example, and He asks us to “follow, Me.” Tessa needed an example from an older, more experienced baby in her life, so that she could glean wisdom from her and learn. In the same sense, how much more should we look to the wisdom of Jesus.
Colossians 1:15-17, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
Philippians 2:5-8, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
Jeus was in the beginning and was before all things. All true wisdom for us is found in Jesus. Not only that, but Jesus lived it out. He taught humility, as well as practiced it. He washed His disciples’ nasty feet. He met with lepers and others in deep, hopeless need. He ate with tax collectors and prostitutes. He shows us how to live past ourselves.
We have our great and perfect example in Jesus. Now, where is our community?
Tessa's Community...And Ours
Parenting is amazing. You get a front row seat into every humans’ infant stages by observing your child’s first years. Tessa craves community. She sees what others do, and she mimics their every movement. She mocks their every noise. She will do whatever she sees someone else do that seems interesting to her. This is where she learns how to move past her spot on the floor, and move to something greater.
We need community. We need Gospel-centered (Jesus-centered), community. This is not a group of people who make sure you are making it to church and volunteering enough. These are groups of broken people who have realized that they are stuck without the saving power of Jesus. These are not people who are perfect and without blemish. Gospel community is made up of people who mess up constantly, but know there is a perfect Savior who took their place on the cross. A Savior and Friend who will not leave you there on the floor, in your brokenness, but a Savior and Friend who desires for us all to grasp and be changed by the freedom we have in Him.
Philippians 1:27, “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the Gospel…”
No more kicking, shimmying, wiggling our way to a better life. Look to the perfect example in the all-loving and all-powerful Jesus, and strive side by side with other broken people in Jesus-centered community. This combo will teach you to roll, then crawl, and walk, and one day run. All in the direction of the One who designed it. Jesus.
by: Craig and Rachel Larson
Craig and Rachel were part of the group that founded RSBC. They eagerly worship Jesus within the church family through youth leadership, musical gifts (Rachel), and being a member of our Leadership Team (Craig). Baby Tessa was born in Dec. 2016.