24 April 2006

Growing Up unto the Lord (Helaman 3:21)

In a post entitled Gratifying, on A Prayer of Faith, Starfoxy recently wrote, "I love to comfort [my son], and enjoy sitting with him in my arms." Téa, in a concurring comment, wrote, "I need to hold onto those joyful moments in anticipation of when he will no longer seek to be comforted."

I like the analogy that Starfoxy then drew between a mother's relationship to her child, and our Heavenly Father's relationship to us, his spirit children: "When we need comfort from him we’re much more ’still’ we seek him out and listen carefully." And Téa remarked, "I like your application to us and our relationship with God. Do you suppose part of the gratification He feels is pleasure as we are doing as He has asked, to come unto Him, to cast our burdens on Him?"

This thought-provoking post and the ensuing comments prompted me to seek out a passage in my journal where I wrote about the changing joys that come with parenthood as our children grow up. At the time, our six children ranged in age from 13, down to just-turned-two.

We saw Orson Welles' classic film "Citizen Kane" on television last night, and I can now understand why it is termed a classic. [Our three oldest] watched with us, and I believe the two oldest, at least, were able to comprehend much of it. We talked a while afterwards about it, and I realized once again how much I enjoy being able to discuss things with the children. It is this pleasure in seeing their minds and spirits expand which must now replace the delights of watching babies learn to walk and talk. Right now we have a bit of both, but our youngest is growing up so fast that it is only a matter of months before the word "baby" will cease to apply at all. Like all mothers, I'm torn between the desire to see him progress and develop, and the desire to retain those precious moments when his young age is most evident. I know that one day soon he will come to me and say, not "Bla-blap," but "Lap," and then, "I want to sit on your lap." And eventually, of course, the request itself will cease.

Those sweet requests for comfort in my arms have long since passed into the realm of cherished memories. The two-year-old in that journal entry has grown into a fine man with a family of his own; and I can relive those tender moments of young motherhood now when I hold his little son on my lap and rest my cheek on his curly head.

Continuing with Starfoxy's analogy, I wonder if, just as I find great joy in the adult relationship my son and I now share, God may indeed take pleasure in seeing his spirit children progress beyond the spiritual equivalent of the "terrible twos" or the mercurial stage of adolescence. I think we please him well when we progress in knowledge and understanding so that we seek him out as often to thank and praise him, as we do for comfort and reassurance; or when we consistently seek to follow in his ways more often than we "kick against the pricks."

Even as I am confident of God's love throughout my entire journey through mortality, I pray that I can love and appreciate my children and grandchildren in all their stages of growth, and do my part to help them learn to know and love God, to understand his great plan of happiness, and to walk in the paths of righteousness.

We all continually stumble and veer off the the straight and narrow way from time to time, but my abiding hope is that as each of us approaches the end of our mortal probation, we will feel that we have matured spiritually, fulfilled our earthly mission, and have our trust firmly placed in the redeeming power of Christ.

Surely our Heavenly Father and our Savior will feel joy when we can say, as Enos did, " I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality, and shall stand before [Christ]; then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father."

At that moment, we will truly have "grown up unto the Lord."


JKS said...

I love that verse in Enos!

RoAnn said...

So do I. After a lifetime of seeing through a glass darkly, all comes clear, in an incredible moment of joy and love.

annegb said...

I have just found this great blog.

I love your post about God's love. I constantly need reminding.

RoAnn said...

Thanks so much, annegb! We all need constant reminding, don't we? We seem to have very short memory spans as mortals.

I'm so glad you dropped by and commented. I've been a secret admirer of yours for sometime!