I love babies and how completely ignorant they are of their facial cleanliness. Clare really loves to eat and is especially talented at getting food all over her face. Some days, like yesterday, I wonder what got more food, her stomach or her eyebrows. She is blissfully unaware of what she looks like, happy to keep eating, laughing and making a certified disaster area of her high chair.
As much as I sometimes wish she would just sit still and eat like a normal person, I have to stop and think about what that statement really means. “Eat like a normal person.” What I actually mean is “Eat more like me.” Meaning: sitting in one place, using a fork correctly, taking small bites, actually chewing the food, not needing assistance, and definitely not ending up with pureed sweet potatoes down my shirt and across my forehead like war paint. But this is unfair to Clare. I am asking her to be something she is not. She is a baby. She is not an adult. It is unfair for me to expect more than she can give.
Clare, and all babies, are perfect examples of what it means to live life to the best of their ability. They do not know how to be inauthentic, to be sarcastic, to be judgmental, or to hold anything back. They live fully in the present moment. They do not dwell on the past and they do not worry about the future. They are not worried about appearances and are capable of unconditional love.
Yes, of course, babies are not capable of critical thinking, of complex decision making and a host of other things that are necessary for a functioning adult. However, there is something be said for the attitude of a baby.
I think that God is asking us to be a bit more like babies. A bit less worried about appearances, a little less concerned about the past and less occupied with the future. It is so easy to get caught up in comparing ourselves to one another we lose sight of who we are. Instead, we are focused on what we aren’t. It’s ok to get a little messy sometimes. So if you happen to see me and my hair isn’t perfect, the dishes are totally done or my kiddos have on mismatched socks, it’s because we are trying to spend more time laughing and playing and a little less time concerned about the tings that can wait. We only have today, today, it won’t be here tomorrow. I hope you find some time today to get a little joyfully messy too.