I just got home from a conference in Colorado Springs with Sara and Lylah.
Trying to keep costs down, we drove to the conference and we took Lylah with us. So we got a ton of time in the car with Lylah. While traveling, we noticed Lylah doing a new trick.
She has figured out how to look upset when she wants something. Her face scrunches up and it looks like she is about to cry. But just seconds later, she stops making the face and returns to her normal self.
I’ve found that she mainly does this when she doesn’t want to be in her car seat any more or when she wants a particular type of food. Maybe we are callous parents, but Sara and I just laugh when she does it.
The whole thing is pretty amazing, though. Lylah isn’t even quite nine months old and she’s already discovered the power of deception.
That’s a very sobering thought. It gives me a whole new understanding of what King David says in Psalm 51. “Surely I was sinful at birth,” he claims. Nobody is perfect. The instinct of self-preservation can be found in the core of who we are.
I’ve always struggled with accepting that truth. Surely, we are innocent by default. Surely, most people tend to be good. Surely, it’s only the murderers and tyrants who God judges.
But we all have a dark side to our nature. We all have been influenced by sin. Selfishness is part of our instinct. Lylah screams and groans until she has her way. And now she’s learning to be dishonest to get her way.
Interestingly, it doesn’t make me love her any less. She’s still living up to her middle name, “Joy,” and she still is our adorable little daughter, dishonesty and all.
I can’t help but wonder that maybe God sees us in the same way. Maybe God sees us trying so hard to get what we think we need. Even trying to play tricks on him, thinking that he’ll be more likely to respond. And all the while, God continues to love us, even delight in us. We don’t need to play games or put on charades to get God to hear us. He already is listening and doing a better job than I’ll ever do with Lylah.
Confident of God’s love in spite of our weakness, what unnecessary games or tricks might you be able to release?