Lights, Camera, Action!

Bill and I were there when it happened. Our daughter Hope called us and set up the appointment. Kayla was going to eat her first ‘real food’. We plopped Kayla on set for her first Hollywood photo shoot with backdrops, lighting and music. Bill and I were cast to be gaffers, lighting technicians and terrific audience members in charge of “ooo’s and ahhhh’s". Hope mixed up the perfect blend of water and cereal—we didn’t want it too soupy or too chunky. Everything was on target. Lights. Camera. Action. Kayla’s First Food, take one!

The look on Kayla’s face was priceless. A little mix of fascination and confusion. Her interior wheels were turning. She seemed to savor every spoonful her mom could get to those tiny little lips until the entire quarter cup was gone. We got it all on video. Satisfaction. Maybe even contentment. That day was a joyful achievement. High fives all around.

Now, fast forward, at two and a half years old, Kayla’ eating endeavors are no longer Hollywood moments. Abbie, the dog is Kayla’s favorite mealtime friend. Kayla can do it herself. There was a glorious moment long ago when Kayla reached for her food with great joy. Her mom was extraordinarily patient as she reached for more and made a mess. Hopeful Abbie was seated only millimeters beneath the high chair waiting for morsels. We loved watching Kayla try to eat birthday cake. That was definitely a Hollywood moment caught on tape. However, now we take great care choosing mealtime and snack selections. It’s more like Goldylocks moments. Nothing too big nor too small. Everything is just right. Abbie, is still millimeters away, of course.

No parent wants to spoon-feed their child for their entire life. We are designed to mature in every way. The bench marks can be obvious: reaching for food, riding the bike, driving a car. Other maturity moments could be telling the truth when it’s easier to lie, doing the hard thing instead of taking the easy route or being good when being bad is really tempting. Maturity is reflected in all of creation. And so it is with our spiritual lives. I believe it is God’s design for us to mature in our spiritual lives, to hunger and thirst for righteousness, to reach for more and no longer passively sit back waiting to be spoon-fed.

There were many Hollywood moments in the life of King David. Fortunately for us, the lights, cameras and media of his time caught more than just the high points. The same paparazzi lined up to watch the king dance and shell out party favors at the Jerusalem Party of the Century witnessed and recorded the juicy details of his personal failures. 2 Samuel 12 captured the details of what could be determined as a maturity moment miss. A child’s life was on the line. David spent days pleading with God. Tragically, things don’t turn out well. It appears as if David did not get the outcome he wanted. God did restore the loss with a beloved son who would be included in the line of the Messiah—who would take away the sins of the world. Restoration wasn’t on David’s heart or mind. His relationship with God had come to a serious stop.

David quit. Passivity crept across his life like an evening sunset. Darkness took over his heart. David’s relationship with God had always effected the people, especially Jerusalem. Relationships that took years to develop ventured toward a perilous end. David’s ambitious son Absalom watched the deterioration of his father and took advantage of the situation. Tragedy ensued. You have to read 2 Samuel 12-20 to believe it.

No growth comes by being passive. We have to reach. Make a mess. Start again and create something from the rubble. Giving up reveals a lot about our maturity level. Consider what is lost if we don’t step up. Consider what is gained if we do step up. Which life do you think Jesus died to make possible for us? Come worship our awesome God who never gives up. He never quits. He’s willing and ready when you are. It’s up to you.

Here’s a song that inspired me. One Thing Remains.