It’s amazing what almost six months can do. In early May one of our boys, Henry, was still in the NICU and we were waiting on his brain to develop to where he would decide he wanted to eat. Jenni and I were so thankful for all of the prayers and well wishes offered to us. Not to make light of where they were only a few months ago, I can confirm this much has changed since then:
They like to eat. No, they love to eat.
Based on genetics and who their father is, I am sure that this is no surprise to most of you.
I know we aren’t supposed to be jealous, but I do think it is some kind of a double standard about how people view babies versus adults. Case in point?
It is socially acceptable for them to cry, weep, wail, and have the gnashing of gums when they decide that it has been longer than they think it should be before a meal. They do it and get sympathy. I do it and people give me weird looks.
While they both cry, Asher can scream at levels that I did not know were humanly possible. We can tell which baby is up from the other end of the house because Asher can give a tea kettle scream envy.
As one who sympathizes with hunger, I do not mind feeding them and want to help them feel better (and perhaps get them ready to nap longer). We’ll get the bottles ready and lay them in position and wait for them to eat.
But every now and then something happens….they decide maybe halfway or more into the bottle that they aren’t as hungry. They’ll shift their heads, not in pain, but just because they no longer see their hunger as an immediate need. They’ll gum at the bottle. They’ll grin at us. But they just stop eating.
I know that there are a million theories and you aren’t supposed to push food…but I also know that if they don’t finish what I am trying to give them, they will be hungry sooner. Hunger leads to fussing. Fussing leads to crying. Crying involves all of us. Plus, they need the nutrients in the bottle to grow.
One night I was feeding both and they decided it was the perfect time to both protest. We battled it out and eventually it went down, but after they had gone down for the night I started thinking about how I do this same thing. I’m guessing you might as well.
It might not be protesting a meal, but there are things that we beg and plead for God to do. There are opportunities that we ask for. We pray and look and prepare fo the day when things will work out a certain way. We want a certain job. We want a certain opportunity. We want a relationship. We want our churches to have opportunities to serve more. We ask God to do things bigger than we can dream.
We pray big prayers. But then when opportunities come, something happens.
And just like the boys with their bottles, we get halfway through and we get distracted.
It’s not that we don’t know we want the things we asked for, the need just doesn’t seem as great. And perhaps it starts to feel more like a work we have to do instead of a work that we want to do.
In an age where every church wants the biggest innovation, where every person is challenged to be the best and the brightest and the strongest, I think we forget that even the greatest things happen through deliberate attempts to be faithful even when things have lost their shine.
We commit to things, whether it be a new program at church, a new diet that we believe will be the fix, a new reading plan, or whatever it might be…and then we stop when the initial passion is gone. And because we don’t commit, we don’t finish. And just like the boys if they don’t finish their bottle, we get restless faster.
Wherever you are today might not be the newest and most exciting, but God has you there to use you to do great things for the kingdom. My hope is that we learn to commit to sticking through it, to working hard, and trusting that God called us to places for a reason.
Let’s do the work and see what happens.