I love cartoons. And I think we’re all familiar with the infamous lines from Walt Disney’s movie, Snow White: “Mirror, mirror on the wall… who is the fairest one of all?” And as we look in our mirrors today, don’t we all want to see a pleasant face staring back at us? Don’t we all want to be the fairest one of all? Come on now… isn’t there a small vain streak in each one of us? Well, speaking as a forty year old woman, I can tell you that looking in a mirror today is not as fun as it used to be. In fact, I do not enjoy it one little bit, no, I do not. Because I don’t like what I see looking back. Frankly, age is beginning to make it’s appearance in the form of lines and sags and puffs that used to seem as far fetched as this fairy tail I’m referring to. Oh yes, mirror, mirror… it seems there’s no avoiding them. But fortunately, we can avert our eyes when we want to.
Surprisingly, however, I am finding reflections of me coming from another direction here lately. And you know, there’s no turning aside from this mirror image. No, when my little boy looks up at me, I cannot turn away. And in his small features, I’m beginning to see traces of me. And that makes me glad. BUT… I’m also seeing something else reflected back at me. And honestly, this doesn’t make me so glad. Because what I’m seeing is an ungrateful attitude and an unthankful heart. And you know, it’s not his fault. Because he’s just a child. And the sad truth is our children learn by example. The truth is our children are simply reflections of us and if we’re not careful, they may learn all the wrong things. Because no matter what you say to them, they are simply going to imitate what they see. And the ugly truth is… what I see in my son that I cannot abide by, is the very thing in me that God cannot abide by. And if I want to see changes in my son, well, it has to begin with me.
But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Colossians 3:14-15
I’ve been memorizing Scripture for months now. And periodically I go through them all, hoping to keep them fresh in my heart and mind. And without fail when I get to the above verse, I forget the ending. I cannot remember, “and be thankful,” for the life of me. And when I contemplate this, I see that it’s not just the words I’m forgetting… it’s my whole being that’s forgetting it. Not only do I forget to say, “be thankful,” but I simply forget being thankful. In cultivating my heart, thankfulness has been left out. And this shouldn’t be. Not for me… and not for my son. And so, things will be changing around here. Today is the day I am purposing in my heart to be thankful. Because in reality, that’s all that God is concerned with… the heart. He doesn’t care what image the mirror on the wall casts back, but He does care about the image our lives reflect. And our daily walk will reveal the truth about what lies deep inside us.
Rejoice Always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
The truth is, I haven’t been rejoicing much and my prayers have been isolated to the morning. And I surely haven’t been giving thanks in everything. The truth is, I’ve lived most of my life in complete opposition to what I’m told to do in 1st Thessalonians. Because I’ve lived so much of my life pining away for something I didn’t possess. At one time, it was a baby… later, it was Virginia… later, status and a name… and later still, a house… and then, another house. You see, I’ve always been a glass half-empty kind of girl or the grass is always greener. And that just shouldn’t be for a child of God. And when I look at my son, I see he’s turning into a glass half-empty kind of boy. He too, is beginning to pine for things thinking the grass will be greener when he gets there. And I’m the one who’s making him that way. He’s my mirror image… What I see in him just shouldn’t be and it won’t be. Because it’s not too late.
This day, I choose to be thankful and grateful. Because God has blessed me abundantly. This day, I choose to open my eyes to the gifts – big and small – that God has graced me with. And there’s a lot. And sure enough, when my heart begins to change from one that pines for what it doesn’t have, to one that is blown away by the goodness of God… well, I’m going to see a change in my son. Because he’s going to imitate me. His little heart will resemble mine. And when my reflection shines back at me – through him – I’ll smile at what I see.
Mirror, mirror, little boy… may your heart and my heart reflect God’s joy.