Reading to Grace tonight before bed, I read the following aloud:
“God’s people had a hard time not copying everyone else around them.” (Kevin DeYoung in “The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden”)
I then attempted to explain the concept of copying someone else’s behaviour by asking if she ever copies older kids, or tries to do what they do. She stared up at the ceiling considering my question and, after about 15 seconds of silent thinking (I know, that’s some deep thinking for a 3-year-old), she said, “No mum. I don’t copy the big kids.” (By this point I too had thought it through and realized that she actually doesn’t really copy other kids. She likes them to do what she does – and this Mama is going to frame that in my first-born’s favour and call it “leadership” rather than “bossiness”…haha).
But it was what she said next that knocked the wind out of me, and made my eyes burn with spontaneous tears.
“I copy YOU, mum. I always follow YOU around.”
Wham. Straight to my heart.
And she’s right, too. She totally does imitate me…copying the things I say (even how I pronounce “tomato” in my Bajan accent), doing what I do, following me around with her toys so she can play by my feet as I do work around the house.
I had two immediate thoughts accompaning my stinging eyes and pounding heart tonight:
1) God help me!
2) “Follow me, as I follow Christ.” (1 Cor. 11:1)
God help me because I am far from the woman I want my girls to become.
God help me because, more than following Mummy, I want my girls to follow Jesus.
God help me because they are going to follow me, and I need to lead them to Him.
And then I heard the call of Christ afresh to FOLLOW hard after Him. This world is pale and poor compared to knowing Him. If He is truly the greatest treasure and the one thing I want most for my children, then I must pursue Him as MY greatest treasure in every moment of every day.
God, make it so.
And may this song I sang with Gracie tonight be the cry of my heart, and my girls’ hearts:
“Give me one pure and holy passion,
give me one magnificent obsession,
give me one glorious ambition for my life,
to know and follow hard after you.
To know and follow hard after you,
to grow as your disciple in the truth,
this world is empty, pale and poor
compared to knowing you my Lord
lead me on and I will run after you”
– William Murphy