One thing I’m learning as I continue to write for 252 Basics is that when we take on a characteristic of God, we learn to understand and appreciate Him more. I’m still a little confused by the concept, so let me explain in a way that’s easier for me to grasp.
My daughter was born about four hours after we arrived at the hospital. Jealous? My love for her was instant. I’ve heard it takes a little while for fathers to warm up to their newborns, but not me. I was smitten immediately. I love that little girl. And I love my son, born two years later. I love them both very, very much. I mean, sure, they can be a little irritating at times. They’re still growing, I guess, and still have a lot to learn. Sometimes they whine for really dumb reasons. Sometimes they choose to disobey, even when they know what they’re doing is wrong. They’re often selfish and think the world revolves around them. They complain when things don’t go their way. I have to keep an eye on them at all times, because you never know when one of them might try and jump off the dining room table or eat a Matchbox car. I get frustrated when they don’t understand that the rules exist to protect them from harm. “I know it looks fun, but you can’t spin around in the dryer.” At the end of the day, I feel like I could sleep for a month, but that won’t happen, because my daughter’s internal alarm clock wakes the house up at 6:30 a.m. And yet, despite all of the stress and frustration and irritation, I still look at them asleep in their beds at night and I’m overwhelmed by how much I love them. Nothing they could say or do can make me love them less.
It only occurred to me recently that God, on a much grander scale, loves me in the same way. Even when I whine or disobey or complain. Even when I’m selfish or don’t understand what He’s doing. His rules are in place to protect me from harm. And nothing I say or do will cause Him to love me less. Now, three years into fatherhood, these are all very basic and obvious comparisons. But it took me becoming a father to understand the depth of love from my Father.
So, now I’m wondering in what other ways I can attempt to emulate the character of God. If I create something, maybe I’ll have more appreciation for what He’s created. If I forgive someone, maybe I’ll understand the lengths He’s gone to forgive me. He’s perfect. And why more people don’t strive to be like Him is beyond me. We’re still growing, I guess. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going for a spin in the dryer.