"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children". Ephesians 5:1 or as it is worded in the NLT "Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children."
When things begin to get overwhelming or I've over scheduled my time, gotten behind and fallen short, I have to return to the simple things. Go back to the basics and build from there. Take care of the essentials FIRST. Sometimes that means going back and looking at my mission statement and seeing if I'm still on track. Sometimes it means letting the house go and focusing on relationships. Sometimes it means letting the "outside" world and responsibilities go and focusing on getting the house in shape. It usually just depends on the situation and which ball I've dropped.
When things become overwhelming emotionally and spiritually, it also takes returning to the basics. Looking at what you KNOW to be true. Focusing on the areas that I know NEVER change according to situations. Zoning in on just one or two things, versus trying to do it all.
That thought process and my own need to simplify, refocus, and regroup after some recent roller coaster rides led me to thinking about the basics. What basic truth do I need to focus on RIGHT now? What one or two things can I turn my eyes to RIGHT now that will help stable everything else?
Ephesians 5:1 is the answer that came to mind. Thinking about the one statement brings everything into focus and proper perspective. "Imitate God". Almost all of life's situations can be answered with those two words. There can be no higher standard. I'm not going to be disappointed by putting HIM on a pedestal and then have to pick up the pieces when he falls short....impossible. He is sovereign and perfection.
It's important to point out that this doesn't mean to seek perfection. It's impossible. WE cannot ever come close to the perfection, purity, and powerfulness of God. He alone is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. I always LOVE those "omni" words!
Most moms can tell you that children LOVE to imitate their parents. Our toddlers and preschoolers seem to be the most happy when they are being our little copycats. They want to dress like us, act like us, and do what we are doing. How many times do we provide them with their own set of "tools" to follow along with us? Bradlee loves to be my right hand man when I'm cleaning. He follows me around with his own supplies and does what I do.
One of my favorite memories of my "little" brother was when we would tell him to "walk like Daddy". He would clasp his hands behind his back and with those chubby legs would wobble along with the sway that was so typical of my dad at that time. That wasn't HIS normal way of walking, but he was imitating what he had seen his daddy do over and over.
Two aspects of the verse are jumping out at me. One: my need to imitate God. Two: the importance of remembering that my children are imitating me.
As a child of God, I want to imitate my heavenly father. Just like a little child naturally imitates his/her parents, I want to be like my eternal father. Plain and simple, I fall short more than I get it right. I need to always act like the father, love like the father, forgive like the father, etc... WOW! SO not meeting those goals!!!! Going back to the basics of imitating God is going to be a huge task, but one so very worth it.
In "studying" this verse, I read the following:
The apostle Paul used the word mimetai from which we get our English word to “mimic.” The idea is to copy closely, to repeat another person's speech, actions, behavior and mannerisms. Paul is saying get to know your heavenly Father so you can echo His speech and behave the way He behaves.
How much more fulfilling and "simple" would life be if I were to truly, whole- heartedly mimic God? I would find myself in "messes" much less often. THAT is an understatement! The best way to learn to mimic God is to TRULY get to know Him. I have to intimately spend time with Him through prayer, worship, reading His word, and in fellowship that brings me closer to Him.
Part two is the reminder that as a mom, especially since my kids are with me 24/7, I need to ALWAYS remember that my kids see EVERYTHING I do....no matter how small or big, no matter how good or bad. They are watching and learning..........it's up to me to decide whether what they are learning to mimic is good or bad....worldly or godly! I have to be a mimic of God in order for them to mimic him as well. Every single thing I do has to be a reflection of Him or I am teaching them to mimic the wrong path. Pretty unbelievable responsibility! Fortunately, the more I learn to mimic God, the less scary and overwhelming that task will be! I'm thankful for his forgiveness, grace, and HIS ability because I'll NEVER be able to do it alone.