Selfishness abounds in your twenties. You basically take care of yourself, give your roommate the head nod on your way out the door, and do what you want to do. This might be different for married people, but since I have no idea what it takes or what it’s like to be married, I’m not going to pretend that I do. So, I guess what I’m saying is, being unmarried and in your twenties tends to result in a very selfish lifestyle.
In my opinion, selfishness is the leading factor that makes it really tough to believe in God. When you’re selfish, you have a really hard time comprehending real, unselfish, life-giving love, because you really aren’t in the position to give that kind of love on a day-to-day basis. Do you know what I’m saying? You can’t comprehend it. Com-pre-hend-it.
Luckily, I’ve got three nieces and one nephew that teach me about it.
Tonight I am babysitting for said nieces and nephew. As I write this, they are all in bed, although I will admit that the youngest is not happy about it. I can’t do too much for her right now except wait for her infant Tylenol to kick in. Teething is the worst.
Aaaand she’s asleep.
So back to what I was trying to say. What I was trying to say, at the beginning of this happy blog post of mine, is that I tend to learn the most about God when I spend time with my nieces and nephew, because they are on the receiving end of the most unselfish love that I am capable of giving. I would do anything to make sure that they are safe, warm, happy, and well-rested. (I love sleep.)
About a half hour ago, after I checked up on Claire, the youngest, teethingest one, I heard some crying from the older girls’ room. I was starting to feel like a ping-pong ball, bouncing between the two bedrooms to make sure that everyone had what they needed to be able to sleep (you have no idea how long of a process this usually is), so when I heard the crying from the other room, I had to fight the desire to be annoyed. I walked in, and Rachel, who’s five, was crying for her mom. She hadn’t gotten out of bed, because I had told the girls that they had to stay in bed, and she (amazingly enough) listened to what I had told her, so instead, she laid there and cried. When I got up close I saw that there were legitimate tears rolling down her little face. That just destroys me. I really can’t handle it when there are real tears. Yeesh. I hugged her for a little bit, and then I snuggled in with her in her twin bed and decided to tell her and her older sister, Maya, who was in the bunk above us, about the last Halloween I remembered where all three of us sisters (their mom included) had gotten dressed up for trick-or-treating. As I laid there in the glow of the nightlight and told them all about our crazy costumes and my super cool princess crown (it was seriously super cool), I felt Rachel relax in the crook of my arm, and with her, I felt myself relax.
It occurred to me in that moment that these kids couldn’t do anything, anything, that I wouldn’t forgive in a heartbeat. I am a complete, in-love nincompoop when it comes to them. I know they aren’t perfect, and I worry about them and pray for them and try to guide them when it’s my place, but honestly, in my eyes, they are stainless. I just… guah… I don’t know. I love them.
It’s moments like these where I feel like maybe God can love you and me like that. The Bible says that those who believe in Jesus Christ are God’s children. His children. I used to think that God looked at us as His children because we are all so stupid and immature that it just made the most sense. What I am finally starting to realize is that God looks at us as His children because He loves us as His own, and He understands how weak and imperfect we are. He gives us the grace that only children deserve; the kind of grace that says, “Well, they’re still learning. They’ll get it.”
So what’s our job in this whole shebang? A childlike faith. A whole-hearted faith. Our job is to trust that our Father loves us, to love Him back, and then to take that infinite love and spread it around like wildfire.