Our little man is now 13 months old and is a whirlwind of energy, joy and craziness! Up until this past week, he’s found his way around our house by crawling at lightning-fast speed, or cruising along the sofa or playpen gates. But when he was at daycare this week, I got a text from my friend saying “He just took 3 steps!!” Now of course, I wish I could have been there to witness his first real steps, but he’s repeated his new talent quite a few times at home now – the current record is 5 steps. I haven’t been able to catch any of it on video just yet (he plops straight down onto his bottom whenever the phone comes out to record him), but I know I’ll never forget it. He’s not taking very long strides yet, just wobbly-kneed, tentative little baby steps, but the grin on his face when we cheer for him is priceless.
I can’t help but think that this is how our Christian walk must look to God. He doesn’t demand that we go out there and run a marathon or a 5k, or even make it around the block. He does, however, ask that we let go of whatever it is holding us back – fear maybe? – and take those tiny baby steps in His direction. For me that means packing up the diaper bag every Sunday morning and saying a few quick prayers that little man behaves himself in Mass. There are two of us to wrangle him in when he starts getting fussy, but let’s be honest – it’s distracting and a little embarrassing when your toddler decides to practice blowing raspberries in the middle of the Consecration. Jesus called the little ones to Him, so it’s our goal to keep our entire family together as much as possible during the Holy Mass. This may not seem like a big deal to more veteran parents (how do you do it with 4 kids??), or to my friends without children, but it’s one of those things that really requires patience and prayer on my part. It is my hope that by modeling proper behavior week after week, our toddler will turn into a child whose heart is full of love for the Mass, and even more importantly, for Jesus in the Eucharist.
I think it’s so important to remember that when we step out in faith, God is cheering us on with such pride and enthusiasm, just like we cheer on our little ones when they reach new milestones. What baby steps is He calling you toward today?