Chronicles of Sadie

Treasures and Strollers

IMG_0005When Sadie had been home about a week, we ventured outside the confines of our house. All you “non-parents” out there may or may not realize that bringing home a baby is all about settling as quickly as possible into a routine—or at least it was for us. Learning where the extra wipes and diapers are so you can find them in the middle of the night. Planning moments of sanity where you plan to watch an hour of television together just to do something besides baby stuff. Trying to standardize feeding and sleeping times for everybody’s sanity.

Most of the routine occurs inside the domain of “home.” And for the first six weeks or so, we tried not to take her out to too many public places where she might be exposed to more germs than her little immune system was ready to repel. Hence, the inside of the house became our constant context—for better or for worse. It was mostly better, but needless to say it didn’t take long to get more than a bit stir-crazy, especially for Laura.

Thus we loaded up our little treasure into her car seat, snapping it into the handy-dandy stroller (one of those brilliantly-designed strollers made to fit the car seat so you’re not transferring baby from seat to seat.) With hands shielding our eyes from the blinding rays of the sun, we emerged from the front door like cave-dwellers facing the outside world for the first time.

Laura dressed Sadie to the hilt—because come on, a walk around the block produced the possibility that someone out there would probably see our darling. I have to say, our first walk was one of my most special memories. Sadie seemed to enjoy the change, even though she was mostly unaware of her surroundings. Of course, she was little enough that she eventually fell asleep—which provided Mommy and Daddy some nice time just to talk and enjoy the moment.

It was a walk I will never forget—a perfect illustration of the newness, anxiety, and unbridled excitement that we faced together as a family. Our fragile little treasure finally outside with us. Everything was wide-open to endless possibilities and we would face them together through all the drooling, crying, and pooping—not to mention what Sadie would be doing.

I suppose that as I walk through this life as a father and as a pastor, I find a similar theme among those who have met Jesus. Just like my new parenthood, there are seasons of faith that are scary, exciting, and even nerve-racking

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Galatians 5:25 (NKJV) says, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Where we live is the place that opens the door to where we walk. Having a new baby was the prerequisite for strolling her through our neighborhood for the first time. Knowing Jesus is the prerequisite for a Christian walk—ugh, please don’t zone out on these terms—think “non-Christianeze.”

I think we often face our “walk” with God more in fear of stumbling than in the hope and joy of the newness we have experienced and continue to experience with each passing day. Sure, both are present, but on that first day in the neighborhood, the joy of my little treasure trumped all the anxieties of the new experience. Similarly, the best treatment for a stagnant and fearful faith is to load up and walk with Jesus where you live.

I pray today that you will take that which is most precious—the love and relationship you have with Jesus—and walk in your neighborhood with it. I would say “with him”, but I think that in this scenario, we are more likely the ones in the stroller instead of the ones pushing it.

As for Sadie, Laura and I will never forget the joy of taking our treasure out into the place where we walk. It was the beginning of many, many more walks to come.

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