I have a child who is raising me as I’m endeavoring to raise her.
Every week there is a new habit or skill learned that leads some revelation that impacts the way I see the world. The most recent realization brought to mind a host of possible implications, but I’m jumping ahead.
My daughter has a pacifier that she has somehow named “doot doot”. “Doot Doot (DD) is something that she has come to cherish. It’s not much but a $2-5 piece of plastic that mimics the very real, life-giving comfort and actions of nursing, but my daughter will often stop crying at the mere mention of DD. She’ll look around, eye’s wide and ask her toddler version of “where” while scanning the room for the promised appearance of DD.
Needless to say, I’ve appreciated the presence of DD on many an occasion. On long car rides, I’ll confess that i’ve handed DD backwards in an effort to quell the cries of a child in distress at the length of transit.
However, the other day, I noticed that the relationship between my daughter and DD had morphed into something a bit more substantial than a source of comfort. Somewhere along the line, my daughter had started to depend on dd as an emotional regulator and as a prerequisite for peace. I didn’t realize it at first, but I found myself disturbed by this, and before I knew it, I was hiding DD from my daughter and making plans for its eventual disappearance.
Somewhere in the midst of this exercise of weaning, I started to wonder if my daughter was the only one in our family who had transformed what started out as comfort into a crutch. It didn’t take me long to start to see the things in my life that I may be forcing to serve a purpose well beyond what perhaps they were intended to. I could see clearly how things like money, job titles, and financial security were trying to usurp the position of something, or better yet, someone, who had the actual power to promise safety in my life.
I marvel at the natural ability of humans to create idols and attach meaning to those things that mimic the truer thing beneath them.
As a father, who is trying to build a strong daughter, it became my goal upon noticing this negative trait to remove DD from this vaunted position and make sure my daughter was able to seek sources of comfort that were legitimate, healthy, and hopefully internal/eternal.
It becomes clear to me that our Father in heaven may have similar feelings when he notices certain things creeping into positions that they were never designed for. They’re removal, although it can feel negative is actually for our own good.
I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to remind myself of this truth if and when God has to prune my life of certain things.
Fly or Fall.