Thursday, February 16, 2006

The infant nursery

A child is born. Wailing he comes into this troubled world: grasping and flailing as he seeks what he doesn't know; longing for the confinement and security he had grown to trust in the womb now left behind. A new security he must now learn as he snuggles close to his mother's breast and (as both of mine did) gazes up into her eyes while he takes in his first nourishing meal. He has now entered the nursery of infancy: with so much growth to take place here, what he learns will assuredly affect the rest of his life.

We feel secure when we know someone or something. This is true for the infant as well as the adult. Security comes with knowledge. The more I know God, the more secure I feel in life. Such is the starting point for an infant's first nursery outside the womb: he must learn to know you; he must feel security in your arms.

Oh what a difficult idea for today's mother. Faster, faster, faster we push ourselves: errands to run, play dates to make, baby things to buy! The infant is in and out, up and down, tossed and turned...who has time for serenity?! Stop... Take the time to slow down. Make time to rest with this new life: to sing to him, rock him, look into his eyes and quietly talk to him. Such are the serene moments which will impart calmness to his mind and soul in this chaotic world.

As the infant groans, he learns to test: to push what he knows. He seeks a position in life. He wants to know if he will be secure even when he makes a contrary decision. Yes, the infant will test the parent all too soon. But what a pliable heart the young child has. Learning to obey the word "no" will be one of the greatest lessons learned in infancy, for it will teach him submission. A child who does not learn to submit to parents will become an adult who will not submit to God.

This and so much more will be the foundational groundwork for the child's life. I challenge the new mother to start seeing her infant as more than a doll to dress up and show off...another "token" in our life's purse. This child placed into your lap from the hand of God: the experiences of nurturing, fostering, and developing this young heart is in your care. Too heavy? You bet! Rearrange your life so you are able to devout every waking moment of your infant's life making him feel secure, providing serenity, and helping him learn submission. And remember...
These days are gone too soon!

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