BY Susan Fiedler
Grandparents love to brag about grandchildren! You’d think they were the only kids in the world. Sometimes I’m tempted to inflict my recitation of minutiae from their lives upon every victim I can lay my hands on. After all, I’m sure other people—even complete strangers—are bound to revel in their astounding achievements.
Okay, maybe not so much. But now that I am a grandparent, I understand a little better some of the reasons we can be so insufferable about our progeny’s progeny. You see, it’s one thing to see personal traits showing up in our own kids. We expect that.
But when we see ourselves in the second generation, it gives us a genuine sense of some spark of ourselves living on in them.
I really can’t claim ownership of this trait because my husband, daughter and son-in-law all are walking thesauruses, but when my grandkids pop up with terms beyond their years, it just warms the cockles of my heart.
Whether it’s the seven-year-old using “trajectory” correctly, or the four-year-old explaining that his magic trick wasn’t real, but only an “iwuusion”, or the two-year-old telling me that mommy was pulling up another “episode” of her tv program, every time I notice some new bit of vocabulary, it tickles me fuchsia because it reminds me of me.
I’m sure athletes, artists, mathematicians and mechanics all feel much the same way when they see treasured characteristics expressed one or two generations down the family tree. It’s proof that this one belongs. It’s confirmation that this child is truly part of our family.
Believe it or not, God feels much the same way. He loves to see His own qualities showing up in His children.
My mom served her congregation for many years, helping with flowers, pot lucks, or anything that needed doing. But for the last twenty years of her life her ability to help was choked by Altzheimer’s.
Even so, as long as she could make it to services, one characteristic hung on. If she saw any lady sitting alone, she would always go over and talk to her. Long past the time that this once classy woman began taking her shoes off wherever she was (people who knew her would smile and deliver them to her seat), she was visiting lonely ladies.
That concern for others was so deeply imbedded into her nature that it shone beyond her disease.
I wonder what defining characteristic would remain in me if much of the surface were scraped away?
God wants us all to become His offspring. In John 12:2 the Apostle gives us marvelous news! “But whoever did receive Him, those trusting in His name, to these He gave the right to become children of God.” (TLV)
Have you ever slipped into the false mindset of growing more like Him by your own effort? I have.
What reassuring joy is ours when we really let go and let God. In Romans 12:2, the Apostle Paul tells us how we are changed into the likeness of our Father. “…fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you and quickly respond to it.”