The baby was just learning to walk. It was an example of extreme awkwardness and also of beautiful transformation from infancy into independence and childhood. Legs wobbled. Arms flailing. Eyes wide open in expressive wonder.
And from the parents – smiles of delight with a look that did a poor job of hiding the terror that was growing. Would their beloved fall and hurt himself? Would she stumble, cry and never get up? Or even worse – will that child start to walk and never come back.
Young children just need to learn to walk. As much as we love our kids, our adorable, huggable, wonderful bundles of joy – we can’t carry them forever. What would it look like for the mom to be carrying around her 24 year old boy? Kind of creepy. And to be honest, I wanted to put a picture here that was funny. But when I googled ‘adult baby’ for a graphic, I got images that scarred my eyes and might even need therapy for later. Nope, get those out of my head forever.
Not every kid will learn at the same pace. Not all will learn in a cute type of way either. I’ve attached a video (ripped from YouTube) that is a compilation of cute ‘first steps.’ It’s three and a half minutes you will enjoy.
But we learn.
Everything has a learning curve. I love to hike, but those long thru-hikes aren’t for beginners. Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP in Colorado is not ever going to be labeled ‘easy’ or ‘moderate’. We learn one step at a time. Confidence comes with experience. And experience comes with time.
Is there something you want to learn to do? Start with baby steps – small, cautious, awkward, but bold. And never lose the excitement.
The Bible talks about walking in the Spirit, about running the race set before us. Unfortunately for many Christians, it’s a shame we often expect them, the new believers, to immediately know how to walk in the ways that honor and glorify God. This comes with growth and practice and discipline.
Here are a few things I think are important in this process …
- Don’t expect perfection or maturity immediately. It takes time.
- We need coaches and cheerleaders – just like parents that help and encourage their own kids when Junior is learning to be ambulatory. So preachers, teachers, older spiritual siblings … cheer on newer believers. AND DON’T mock them when they might stumble – you did too!
- We need to learn the basics that help us in the walk. Acts 2:42 is a great place to start. Get instruction. Stay connected to others. Worship with the church family. Pray – especially pray together.
- By instruction, the key here is get in the Word of God.
- And when we learn to walk, then run, remember you need to teach others to do the same.
So enjoy the delightful and charming sight of seeing kids learning to walk. It’s a reminder we need to do the same.
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship,Acts 2:42 esv
to the breaking of bread and the prayers.