Look What I Can Do!

November 11, 2015

Do you have a five-year old?

Those are the days when all he can say is, “Watch me, Mom!”, “Look at what I can do!”

As our boys got older and outgrew that ‘watch me’ stage, I had to work to appreciate the next son who had just entered that stage. My husband Joey reminded me that each boy needed that attention. He was just as excited with the last one as he was with the first. Me, I’d seen it before and had too much to do.

To move from one stage to another required security. I especially noticed this with toddlers. They got clingy, crabby, and unbearable before they learned something new. I would think, “Why do I have to hold you all day?”, then they’d burst forth with independence that brought another skill tried and mastered.

I also noticed this with my teenagers. They were growing to be men, so I gave them space to sift through their development. But when they came to another step, they would tell me of their past successes. I would give them reassurances, confidence so they could take the next step.

We recently went to Las Vegas--usually Joey has a conference, or an office party there. I opened my blinds in the morning to see if I could see the mountains and the sun rising.

It was still too dark, but what I could see reminded me of my five-year-olds. Billboards the size of skyscrapers flashed videos to show someone doing something. Lights outlining buildings said, “Look at me!”

When the sun did rise and I could see the mountains in the background, dimly because of a thick cloud cover, I saw the lights on the buildings for what they were—man competing with God for His glory. It saddened me that we thought that we could even try. It hurt to see the distractions that kept people from seeing God.

Our culture cries for attention. I can’t go to the store without seeing some strange hair color, a new way to cover your body, unique drawings on the skin (I disciplined my sons when they wrote on themselves with markers when they were toddlers….little did I know, that would be acceptable). What I take from the store (besides my groceries) is a sense that Christians have failed to show the security found in our God.

Our culture has never moved from that five-year-old stage, “Look at me!”

When my five-year-old knew that Christmas was coming, he couldn’t wait for what he would get. But that ‘watch me’ stage eventually moved to looking at others and asking, “How can I help them?”

Our culture hasn’t moved to the next stage. As a mom, I still have those ‘watch me’ moments—I need to be there for their baseball games, to hear them teach their Sunday School lessons, to watch them graduate. But I know they’ve moved beyond the ‘look at me’ stage that keeps them there. They still need reminded that we are cheering for them. They can do it. We move them from the selfish stage, to have them look around them, to see how they can help others, to ask what God wants them to do. We are training men to show the world, not “Look at me,” but “Look at my God.”

Is it a sign that the world feels insecure in who they are because they don’t know the God that made them in His very own image?

Or is it because the moms are so busy chasing their own dreams that they don’t see their teenagers still in the stage of ‘look at me’ needing help to the next stage?

When the sun did rise, and the bill board lights dimmed, I had to squint to see the mountains. There was so much distraction. But I wanted to see what God had done for the morning. I didn’t care to see what man had done.

When I watched the mountains as we flew home, they were still the same, never-changing mountains. It was refreshing to see after the ‘look at me’ from so many people.

I renewed my focus, before I returned to the “look at me” stage of our last boy. He’s a bit slow to learn this lesson, which makes me weary. It was a trip to remind me of a world who needs to see God, not through a dimly, distant mountain, but through a vessel that points them to God Who makes them secure, regardless of their blue hair, strange clothes and pictured skin. God is waiting for them to see Him and say, “Look at God.” 

Displaying 1 comment

Very edifying Sonya. Inspiring and a message I need as I watch my last two birdies get ready to fly the coop. Keep up the good work! Helen

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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