A young man found out that he was going to be a father and knew he was not ready for it. He told his girlfriend at the time that he would help with expenses, but the relationship was over. The girl was devastated, and accused him of all sorts of wrong doing but he knew better. It wasn’t about anyone else, it was just that he didn’t want to be a dad yet.
He reasoned that he was too young to be a father, he still needed time to figure out who he was. He sent his now ex-girlfriend money every month, and went on with his life. He heard that she had a son, and that he was healthy. He was glad to hear it because a baby with health problems would mean even more expenses and he had been planning on a new car. He finally got the car for his birthday and drove down the street feeling like a new man, smiling at everyone he saw. His eyes fell on a woman with a baby in a stroller and decided it was time to meet his son. It was his birthday, and nothing could get him down now that he had this vehicle.
His ex girlfriend gave him a strange look when she answered the door. She agreed to let him see the baby, and seemed to smile a lot at the strange little baby he was holding. The baby did nothing, it didn’t seem to recognize him at all. He wondered if the baby was tired, but she informed him no, he was a very quiet baby. She seemed proud of this, as if somehow this was worth bragging about for some reason. After the visit, the young man found other things were more enjoyable than holding a baby. She seemed really happy as a Mom. He put off a return visit until the baby was a little older. He let the mother know that he would come over again after awhile, and she didn’t seem to mind.
When the young man saw his son again and noticed a remarkable change. The baby was sitting up and drooling a lot, putting everything he could in his mouth and occasionally making sounds. He stared at his father when he was placed in his lap, and even tried to grab his chin. That was pretty cool, he decided, to have this little human that was part of him notice him and stare at him intently. He decided to come back again, and was again fascinating to stare at. The baby seemed intrigued by his voice, stopping whatever it was doing to look over when he said something, so he started talking to him. Everything he said seemed interesting, for the baby just stared at him, watching his mouth and searching his eyes.
The young man began to see the value in being around more, and asked if he could take the baby for a walk in the stroller. This could be fun, he thought. He took the baby around the block, explaining what everything around him was and what things did. The baby was so quiet he had to look at him to be sure the baby was really listening and not sleeping. The big, inquisitive eyes were filled with questions and seemed very engaged, he was happy to see. Satisfied, he continued to the park nearby and put the boy on his lap to swing him.
Screams began immediately when the swing began, and the young man stopped at once. The baby seemed very upset, and although he talked again, the baby did not seem fascinated at all. Instead, he threw his head back and bawled even louder the more he tried to talk. He set the baby back in the stroller and hurried back to the girl’s home, noticing everyone he passed looked after them as the screams were pretty loud and unsettling. He pushed the stroller to the door and was relieved to see the mother was already there. She had the baby in a moment, and he hushed immediately.
The young man left as soon as he could, very upset by the fact that his son had rejected him so quickly. Even though the mother explained that he had never been on a swing and was probably just scared, he knew better. His son only wanted his mommy, and that was fine with him. She could do a better job anyway, she obviously seemed to like it, he told himself. She seemed so much happier than he remembered when they dated. He decided that she must love the baby better than she had loved him, so it was better that he didn’t take the baby from her any more. He would stop by and visit, but the idea of taking him to the zoo or to meet his parents would never happen, he decided.
Years later, the boy smiled politely when his father came to see him. As always, there was an expensive new toy for him while his father talked to him about what he did in his job and the places he had been to. The boy rarely said much to anyone, but said even less when his father was there. A long time ago he had realized it seemed better for everyone if he just listened. He wondered if his father had heard that his mom was getting married. He decided that It probably didn’t matter to his dad, so he kept quiet and just continued listening.
—————Thoughts that motivated this story—————
In this story I wanted to dig deeper into a casual relationship or commitment
25 and there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.
In Matthew 4:25 we read of a new sensation, people have started to follow Jesus in large crowds. Not just a few people, the crowds were a ‘multitude’ which means a LOT of people. Matthew tells us they were people from all over the region. Some from quite a ways away; and some from right there in Galilee. It seems a lot of people were pretty compelled by what this unknown man did. He talked of the Kingdom of Heaven, He did amazing things like heal sick or even demon possessed people. Even more astonishing, He didn’t seem to have any interest in money or prestige at all because He had no job just like a prophet; and prophets had been missing for a long time.
I was thinking about the many multitudes who decided it was worth their time to walk away from their lives and routines to investigate and follow Jesus of Nazareth. On first thought I find it noteworthy to be so curious and interested in what they heard others say about Him, it took courage to look into it for themselves. Further thoughts made me realize that people do this today as well. There are many examples of a new sensation that has people waiting in long lines just to be a part of it or be one of the first, the early adopters. New is exciting, it shows a fresh approach and perhaps that is why it had such a draw. Although it is still noteworthy, the more I think about it, the less I am sure the crowds were genuinely interested in what a supposed man from God had to say. I suspect they may like the idea of this new man, but maybe they are just trying it and not really ‘following’.
Today I can keep tabs on something I’m interested in on the web, from listening to news, or just asking a few questions. The people ‘in the know’ will gladly keep me up to date and I don’t have to commit to anything. Those who are convinced that the latest new trend is worth their time will do the work for me. There was a time when I knew of Jesus and I liked the concept of mercy and Jesus satisfying God’s justice. Then one day I came face to face with a decision. Would I make that personal or would I view it as a nice concept I looked into and remain on the fringe of? Being a follower meant I had to invest something, I had to give up my will and become subject to God. That submitting was a bit scary, I worried that God would ask me to do something hard that I couldn’t do. I made the leap anyway, and the decision to become a follower is one I have never regretted. It meant more than just a casual relationship with God, it has shifted and changed who I am, bringing love for others where I had no love. Would you make that decision I wonder?