Tag Archives: Baby

Humble Baby

On a recent date night with Julia, I was handed a tightly swaddled and stomach filled Summit for burp duty.  Unsuspectingly, burp duty turned into an interesting course of events.  As I sat in the booth of the restaurant, I prevented Summit’s head from bobbing and weaving and patted his back to bring relief. Relief eventually came in projectile form and a muffled rumble from the diaper area.  So, the clean-up process began: projectile wipe down, unswaddle Summit, change diaper, caught pacifier from falling on the floor, plug pacifier back in, re-swaddle Summit nice and tight, and a big sigh of relief.  Just after the big sigh of relief came another muffled rumble from the diaper area, beginning the process all over again!  As I finished re-swaddling Summit and processing all that just took place, I was reminded about the fragility of an infant. This remembrance let me rethink the humility of Christ and His willingness to come to a lower place.

Previously, when I thought about Christmas or Christ’s birth I always saw Christ as the quiet tranquil little baby laying in a manger, surrounded by Joseph, Mary, and all the barnyard animals. I never thought about Mary having to hold His bobbing and weaving head because He was too weak to hold it up on His own.  I never considered Joseph having to burp Him, clean up His spit up, or change His soiled garments.  I never thought of His willingness to become a total and completely dependant infant.

 Compare this total surrender of control and ability with what we read in John 1:1-3.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and with out him was not anything that was made.

 This infant created the world, the sun, the stars, the universe, all things that are living, and, all things to sustain the living.  Without this infant we would not exist or be able to sustain our existence.  So, here we have the creator of all things seen and unseen and He completely humbles himself.  He humbles himself to the point of such weakness that He can’t hold His head up, burp on His own will, or control His own bowel movements.  Then again because He was sinless, perfect, and holy he probably came out of the womb potty trained, never had projectile vomit, and always slept through the night – just something to ponder!

 This moment with Summit was impacting, convicting, and encouraging. I was impacted by seeing the irony in people seeking for the higher when their Lord and Savior always chose the lower, convicted by my own arrogance in this life, and encouraged by knowing that Christ’s humility can dwell within me.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant,being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Philippians 2:5-8

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A Summit of My Own

 

 

Every summer a group of men from our church take a trip to hike a 14,000 foot mountain in Colorado.  The name of the trip is creatively and cleverly dubbed The Man Trip.  This  trip is a “Man Trip” in every single way.  All done within 72 hours the round trip covers 1700 miles and spans over 25,800 feet in elevation change.  Some guys take off from Arkansas on an early Friday morning, arrive at base camp Friday evening,  hike the 14er on Saturday, and return home by Sunday evening.  Seems a little crazy? Absolutely, but this is what happens in a trip that includes over 20 men and 0 women or children to slow them down! 

I set my eyes on conquering Man Trip 6 months in advance.  I gained “clearance from Clarence” (aka Julia), scheduled a day off work, and decided on a training regimen. Of course, a trip like this takes some training to develop leg strength and respiratory stamina to handle the mountain incline and the thin Colorado air.  So, my training goal was to conquer the dreaded JBU stairs. The stairs located on the John Brown University campus are 100 hundred steps that have a monstrous incline.  I planned to conquer the stairs by running 10 up and downs with out a break; I was certain this would prove my readiness for Man Trip!  

In the six months leading up to Man Trip several hurdles were thrown into my path to impede my training and the hurdles convinced me to abandon the manly excursion.  The first hurdle was a badly sprained ankle, acquired in a pick up basketball game with kids half my age!  After a long and slow recovery,  I was still determined to conquer Man Trip and I quickly resumed my training regimen.  The second hurdle came way of a mysterious alignment to my healthy foot, later to be diagnosed as planters fasciitis, just another form of  getting old.   I could barely walk the stairs a month prior to the trip.  The third hurdle, everybody at work began to take vacations the week of my excursion – perfect timing!  And yes a fourth hurdle 10 foot tall was thrown my way.  It was a little tap on the old shoulder from Julia distributing the notification that Man Trip took place on “ovulation weekend”!  Of course she handled the notification very graciously and it was a notification that included no hint of a guilt trip.  She gave me total freedom to go or not go on the trip. 

He wasn't meant to clear this hurdle!

The fourth hurdle was different from the three previous hurdles.  A few months earlier Julia and I decided to try for our second child.  In our experience, this decision always brings its ups and downs.  We quickly received news we were expecting not one child but two.  In the same week we learned of our expectations, we lost our expectations.  So at the notification of “ovulation weekend”, I began to recognize a sovereign God moving.  As the last hurdle was thrown up, I recognized the three previous hurdles were cleverly placed by a higher being.  I recognized the fourth hurdle was not meant to be cleared and I gave up on my goal of conquering a Colorado mountain.  I knew God had something in store for us and sure enough he did!  We found ourselves expecting once again!  

As I look back on this time and examine all the hurdles placed before me, I began to contemplate one of the greatest theological debates of all time.  The absolutely sovereignty of God and the free will of man.  While I can not answer all of the questions that surround this long-standing debate, I do know what I have experienced.  It was a human choice to train for Man Trip, it was my human choice to jump the first three hurdles in my path, and it was my human choice to stop at the fourth hurdle and choose another path.  A different path that accomplished what God had planned before the beginning of time.  I experienced human will miraculously running in stride with divine will  to achieve God’s ultimate plan.  A plan that is greater than our hearts could ever dream. 

The heart of man plans his way,
   but the LORD establishes his steps.  Proverbs 16:9 

My plan was to gain myself the summit of a mountain. God’s plan was to give me a Summit of my own.

                                                      David “Summit” Faught


The Emotions of Summit

 I will admit it, I am on the more emotional side.  I don’t know what it is, maybe it is the strawberry blonde hair?  It doesn’t matter if it is getting fired up or being excited, I tend to experience the full range of emotions.  Usually, my emotions are worn on my sleeve and I am told my emotions can easily be seen on my face.  I will also admit I do shed the occasional tear watching a movie, watching Extreme Home Makeover (I now refuse to watch the show), hearing sappy stories, singing certain praise songs (especially In Christ Alone), experiencing big moments in my life, and hearing/seeing big moments in other people’s lives.  Okay, so maybe I tear up more than occasionally!  It does seem as though fatherhood has brought out my emotions more than ever before and I think often of Jimmy Valvano’s quote from his famous “Never Give Up” speech. 

“To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”

I can’t say that my emotions move me to tears every day, but I am finding it comes more days than not.  But Valvano’s quote does remind me of the fact that there is nothing wrong with being emotional.  

The most recent overflow of emotions in my life, of course, came with the birth of my second son, Summit.  Yes, the expected tears did flow, but something unexpected happened with my emotions.  There were two emotions that remained prevalent throughout different times of the day.  The interesting thing wasn’t that I experienced two emotions at one time. Rather it was a rare instance in life when I simultaneously experienced two emotions that reside on complete opposite sides of the emotional spectrum.  I can’t think of many times in life that I have experience two complete opposite emotions at the same time.  Although experiencing these emotions were different and unexpected, it felt amazingly perfect for the moment.  Thankfully, there was a camera in the room to capture the collision of two opposite emotions.

PRIDE AND HUMILITY

Holding My Two Boys for the First Time

 

 

 


The Advent of Shepherd

 

Surprises?  Totally my thing!  Keeping surprises?  Totally not my thing!  Secrets?  I don’t want to know them, because it’s hard to keep them!  Presents?  They’re made to be found before they’re wrapped!  Presents are meant to be opened before Christmas day!  Sometimes telling people about their present is actually better than waiting to watch them open it!

Dealing with anticipation, by far, is not my greatest attribute.  So, you can imagine my anticipation and frustration in waiting for my son to come into this world.  I felt like a 5-year-old boy tortured by being forced to look at his Christmas present everyday for 9 solid months.   Imagine the agony of watching the present slowly grow and actually move without being able to take a peak.  The worst part, not knowing exactly when Christmas day would actually come!

Our First Glance at Shepherd

This future son consumed my thoughts and prayers.  What would he look like?  What would he act like?  How much sleep would we get?  Would Julia make it through everything okay?  Are we ready to provide for a child?  God, give him a heart for you.  God, help him be healthy and strong.  God, let him get here safely.  For 37 weeks I lived and dreamed to see the day he would take his first breath.  Many things bought, many books read, the house and nursery prepared.  Then Julia, for the first time in the existence of our relationship, randomly and unexpectedly cleaned out the freezer!  This could only mean that the day had come, he would soon be here. 

Shepherd’s arrival prompted me to think about the two advents of Christ.  First, I wondered about God as a Father sending His only Son to redeem the creation that was lost in Eden.  There must have been so much joy and excitement to fulfill his first promise to restore man, earth, and ultimately destroy death. 

God says to the serpent, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel”.  Genesis 3:15

 So much joy and excitement that it  outweighed the knowledge He would be separated from his only begotten son.    The knowledge that knew He was sending His Son into a world that would  betray Him, beat Him, and scandalously murder Him.  This thought helped me catch but a glimpse of how much God truly loves us.  It is unfathomable to think how He makes such a sacrifice with such joy, with such excitement. 

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord…”   Luke 2:10-11

Secondly, my anticipation and preparation for Shepherd made me consider how I was anticipating and preparing for a greater “coming” to this world, Christ’s return.  I began to ask several questions.  What was my relationship with Christ?  Was it moving, growing, digressing, or even stagnant?  Was I allowing Him to prepare me for his return?  Was I moving along the path of progressive sanctification?  Was I still being transformed?  Was I surrendering all of my life in exchange for a loving pursuit of His?

At the time, the answers to these questions were eerily humbling.  I realized my need to allow the Holy Spirit to move and transform me as a son, a friend, and a husband.  I needed His guidance to leave footsteps I wanted my son to follow.  Footsteps that humbly headed towards the cross and prepare for a greater advent than Shepherd’s, the advent of Christ.

As I look back over the last two years, it is an amazing wonder how God used Shepherd’s coming to transform my life.  I can truly say that getting ready for my son’s arrival has propelled me to prepare for the greatest “coming” of all.  He has a little child to make me a better follower, leader, son, friend, husband, and now father.  My hope and prayer is that Christ will use something in life to do the same for you.


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