As I sit to write this blog, Norah is in the next room, just put down for her afternoon nap. Not asleep yet, but “chatting” the way 8 month olds do…. “dadadadadada eeeeeeeeeeee ahhhhhhhh”. It’s cute.
I often find myself wondering what on earth is going through her head? At this point, is she thinking about anything beyond basic observations (“Light!” “Noise!” “Movement!”) and survival needs (“Hold me!” “Feed me!” “Change my gross nappy!”)?
I know that her understanding will develop. She will at some point in her life consider the cost-benefit analysis of big decisions and wonder whether her feelings for someone are true love. But for now it’s all eeeeeeeeeee, ahhhhhhhhhh.
It’s made me think about 1 Corinthians 13 – not the famous part, but the bit after:
“When I was 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. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Cor 13:11-12).
Like Norah is developing, we are growing as children of God. And whatever our age, we are young in spirit. We are at the beginning of an eternity ahead of us when we will continue discovering who God is. At this point in my spiritual life, I feel like I can only express the basic observations (a verse! Beautiful creation!) and survival needs (Help! Heal! Comfort!). I’m a spiritual baby.
Earlier in the letter to the Corinthians, Paul talks about infants in Christ, who were still too worldly to be given “solid food”.
Although I really long to mature in my faith and grow spiritually, sometimes I feel like I’m not growing at all. Am I stagnant? Or worse, going backwards?!
And then I remember my role as a mother. I love Norah, and will always hold her when she cries and feed her when she’s hungry. How much more will God hold us as we make baby steps in our faith?
Paul said we will never fully know, until we meet Him face to face. Following Jesus is never a task that you can complete and tick off the list. To be honest, this is a relief. I’ve left behind the belief that if you’ve “prayed the prayer”, you’re in. Rather, these verses say to me, no one is perfect in their faith – everyone still has to learn. We are eternal students and Jesus is a gentle and patient teacher.
Maybe by the time I’m an old lady, I’ll be onto spiritual solids.