...Once toddlers have mastered walking and can recognize themselves in mirrors,
they'll try figuring out how they "fit in" with the world.
Shortly after reading this article, like a day later, I noticed Schaeffer climbing into a basket and then looking at the world around him. He had this look on his face that sort of said, "Hey! Look at me in this basket." Since then he has climbed into other baskets and boxes - laundry baskets, Pampers boxes, toy boxes, etc. He is definitely sizing up the world around him and seeing how he fits in. And that's when it hit me like a lightening bolt! From the very beginning of life each one of us sizes up the world around us from our own point of view. We come from a self-centered viewpoint and we see how things size up around us. Now, developmentally that's a very important step for toddlers and children. But sometimes I wonder how many times we get stuck in that developmental stage - like a toddler - and never move past a viewpoint beyond ourselves?
Certainly Jesus went through the "sizing-things-up" stage as a toddler to the delight of Mary his mommy. If she had had a camera, no doubt she would've snapped some photos of such cuteness. But as he grew he soon found that he fit into the world based on God's plan for him. This is what Jesus prayed to his heavenly Father on our behalf, "I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do...As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world...May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me" (John 17:3, 18, 21).
The Parenting article was a great reminder to me to get outside the basket and view the world from God's point of view. And it's equally important that I instill that same truth into my children. It's okay for now that they are sizing up the world around them to see how they fit in. They need that time for proper growth. But they also need my help to guide them into a viewpoint that looks beyond themselves and looks at the world through the eyes of Jesus. That's an important task, and a very big one. I'll need lots of patience, mercy, and love. I'm so glad Jesus has already prayed on my behalf and is living in my heart to guide me through every aspect of life and parenting. He knew I'd really need him in order to get outside the basket.