A friend emailed me a recent photo of Maddie (my ten-year old) taken at a school function, and I was speechless when I saw it. Maddie could be her mother’s twin. I’ve always loved looking at Jessica’s childhood photos, and I’ve loved watching my daughters grow up to reflect her features and personality, but this photo of Maddie has taken it to a whole new level. I’m in love all over again.
The day I have always dreaded has come upon me.
Maddie has officially said goodbye to Barbie.
After years of immersion into Mattel’s world of fun and fashion, Maddie has traded in her Barbie Dream House for an iPod touch.
I know it doesn’t mean that she’s not a little girl anymore, but the fact that I’ll no longer see her in her room surrounded by Barbie clothing and accessories is traumatic nonetheless.
However, just as I’m about to lament the rapid passage of time, I’m reminded of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 13:11: “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” As much as my doting father’s heart wishes that Maddie would be a little girl forever, I certainly understand her need to give up and grow up.
That’s the way it is for all of us. Continued maturity demands that we relinquish the past and lean in to the future.
I hope you’re committed to a lifetime of spiritual growth and maturity. I hope you’re like King David and the Apostle Paul, ever-yearning for new and deeper experiences with God. I hope you’re not too attached to yesterday.
And I hope you’re not secretly playing with Barbie when none of us are looking.
“Runners, take your mark…get set…”
Now hold it right there.
Did you notice the peculiar rituals that the Olympic sprinters went through at the beginning of their races in our recent Olympic games? They not only performed weird, probably superstitious, stretching routines, but they also took forever before they stopped fidgeting and fussing in the starting blocks.
That’s a common thing for sprinters.
They take their time getting settled because they know that once they’re set they aren’t allowed to move again until the gun signals the start of their race.
A “set” position is really tough to hold.
In a recent prayer time I was considering some of the ponderous burdens I’ve been carrying, and I sensed the most wonderful whisper in my soul: “You’re still waiting to exhale…but I already have.”
I knew exactly what the Lord meant when He dropped that phrase in to my heart because I’ve been like a sprinter in the starting blocks who has stayed in the “set” position for too long. My arms have been shaking, my stress levels have spiked, and I haven’t even realized how long I’ve been holding my breath.
“You’re still waiting to exhale…but I already have.”
What a great reminder that God is not nearly as troubled by the things that trouble you and me. He’s already exhaled. He’s already breathed His Spirit in to the areas that trouble us most. Let’s pause right now to exhale anxiety and inhale the Spirit of God.
“And with that He breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy spirit.’” (John 20:22)