Who does your life belong to?
Yesterday Simeon and Heather dedicated their new baby daughter to God. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, and family friends were there to witness the event and to pray for her. Of course we prayed for her to be blessed. But what does it really mean to be blessed?
Babies have very little control over their own life. They are almost totally dependent on someone else to look after them. Babies and young children also find it easy to trust. I’m being reminded of both these facts as Marion and I interact with our baby granddaughter.
This morning Marion and I took Sophie for a ride in her stroller. Eventually she became distressed and began to cry. As soon as I picked her up and cuddled her and began to speak to her gently, she relaxed into my arms with a sigh and let herself be cared for – even though she barely knows me. Jesus said that anyone who does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child shall never enter it. I think he was onto something …
We tend to think that we are blessed when things go our way, but Jesus said that if we try to save our own life we will end up losing it. He said the only way to find true life – the life that is worth living, the life that cannot be destroyed by death or “bad fortune” – is to give up control of our own life and live for His Kingdom. Little children instinctively understand the trust and dependency part of that equation. But babies are also very self-focussed, totally absorbed with their own needs and desires.
Life with God – the only life that is worth living – requires us in a sense to be like little children, and in another sense to be mature in our choice-making. It requires us to relax into God’s arms – but also to make the daily decision to leave behind our self-preoccupation and walk with God into the tasks and challenges that He calls us to take on as His representatives on earth. It takes an adult to walk out the daily choice of surrendering the will to God and actively pursuing the life of a disciple.
That’s the kind of life I want for Sophie – and for myself. Not necessarily the easiest life in the world, but the most rewarding – a life with eternity in view. It starts when I realize that my life doesn’t belong to myself, but to the One who died for me so that I might live for Him and in Him.