He shaves his “beard” and wears an over-sized watch because he wants to be just like his daddy.
He prays, “Thank you for the nice meal Mommy made us,” because he wants to be just like his daddy.
He grabs his tools and begs for a job because he wants to be just like his daddy.
He marches around the house with a gun in his hand and a hat on his head because he wants to be just like his daddy.
He sings silly songs and pretends to play the guitar because he wants to be just like his daddy.
He says “Cheers” to a glass of Root Beer and pretends he’s headed to the office because he wants to be just like his daddy.
He wants a swipe of blue deodorant and a spray of smelly cologne because he wants to be just like his daddy.
His eyes are on his daddy, and he wants to be just…like… him.
And this morning as he followed his daddy’s lead by taking a quick swig of water before heading to the bathroom to brush his teeth beside his daddy, I got a little bleary-eyed.
How precious that he watches his daddy so closely!
How sweet that he wants to mimic his ways!
How absolutely special that he wants to be just…like…him!
And as I shed a few tears over a sink full of dishes and thanked God for the example my son has to follow, I asked my soul a similar set of questions.
Are you devoted to closely watching your heavenly daddy?
Are you consciously mimicking the ways of your heavenly daddy?
Are you faithfully committed to being like your heavenly daddy?
On the night that Jesus was betrayed, he uttered these words as he sat at the feet of his disciples’ stinky toes, “I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.” John 13:15
But was Jesus simply talking about following his humble act of washing dirty feet?
No, I don’t think so.
I think it was much bigger than a bowed head over a basin of soiled water and grimy feet; I think He was talking about the cross.
In the months leading up to Jesus death, He tells His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24.
So what is that cross that we are to bear?
Well, I’m not sure.
I don’t know what God has asked from you.
I don’t know what He has placed in your life.
I don’t know what He has called you to bear.
And though I don’t know what your specific cross is (because I believe that the cross looks like a million different things to a million different people), I do believe that all crosses share a similar posture.
A posture of selfless submission, surrendered will, and relinquished rights.
A posture of unexplained grace, undeserved mercy, and unearned forgiveness.
A posture of messy hard, crazy radical, and broken loneliness.
A posture of absolute trust, utter dependence, and sacrificial love.
So whether it be difficult relationships, waning finances, failing health, bouts of anxiety, aging parents, addictive sins, prodigal children, empty wombs, tiring jobs, broken marriages, clouds of depression, crippling fears, spiritual doubts, or unknown paths, Jesus asks us to take up our earthly crosses and follow His posture, remembering that the ultimate battle was won on the cross of Calvary.
So as we walk and as we bear, may we fix our eyes on our heavenly father, “the author and finisher of our faith,” and mimic His ways, “who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross…” Hebrews 12:2