Sunday, February 23, 2003

We are born helpless babies, grow into adults, keep going a while, get old and die of something or other. How do I understand this as a Christian? The getting sick or old and dying part is problematic, and I've seen these things dealt with in other places by more (and sometimes less) thoughtful people than I. But being born helpless is obviously part of the original plan.

When I think of myself, I don't think of the man in the mirror so much as the man who used to be in the mirror--about 20 years old or so, with any number of possibilities waiting to be tried. I'm over twice that, and I committed to a few of those possibilities--life is short and the rest are out of reach. I'm both the young man starting out and the middle-aged man with a family. And I'm also the baby. If God said his creation was good, it is good for me to have been a baby, to have been completely helpless and unknowing.

That's not how I like to think of myself. I prefer to be the 20-year old, in my prime of strength; or maybe now, with greater wisdom (don't laugh, kids). But God says being a baby is good. We all like babies, but who wants to be one? But then, is my assessment of adult strength really a joke after all? A baby needs to be provided for--he can drink if you provide the milk. I can try and grow food, but that also has been provided for me--seeds, soil, everything. Humans are super-omnivores, but imagine being a Koala, only able to eat eucalyptus.

Maybe being a baby is a good image to us of how we always look to God?

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