I smiled as I watched Caleb inhale the eggs and begin stuffing the toast bites into his mouth. His pleased grin, and the crumbs that were quickly taking up residence on his milky cheeks and forehead as he rubbed his food all over his face were evidence of just how delicious he found this particular meal to be. It pleased me to make him so happy. I quickly realized however, that the pace he was setting was not a good one - he was not finishing his current bites before stuffing the next bit in. Fearing that he would choke, I took some of the pieces off of his highchair tray to help control how many he was able to grab at once. As I removed the pieces, my baby watched inquisitively, his little eyebrows going down over his bright eyes as he began to realize what was happening. He grabbed at my hand as I moved his precious toast away, and tears filled his little eyes. His tiny mouth opened wide, and I could see the remnants of at least three pieces still swimming around inside his chubby cheeks. Instead of finishing the bites he already had in his mouth, my son let out a wail that sounded suspiciously like what I would imagine would be the cry of someone being told their dog died or something equally terrible. I held firm, unwilling to let his cries sway my decision. I knew that he would be ok, and that he would be pacified quickly, as soon as he managed to finish the mouthful he already had. And I was right.
After all, we are His children, He is our Father. He apportions our blessings just like I apportion my baby's food - in amounts that I know are good for him. Amounts that I know he can handle. I know that there are more times than I could ever imagine that my life has been full of the most wonderful blessings imaginable. So full in fact, that I can't even chew them all at once. And yet, just like Caleb, instead of sitting back and enjoying all the blessings I do have, I find myself grasping for more. Tearing at God's hand, crying furiously, and wondering why I can't have more. Why I can't have what others have. Why I can't have what I think I deserve. How must God feel when I behave like that? As my Father, I can only imagine the pleasure He gets when showering blessings upon me - just as I feel pleasure when I am able to do things that make Caleb happy. But to have me ignore those in search of ever-more? How ungrateful. How unbecoming.
Despite my efforts made to ration Caleb's bites for a bit, he still managed to sneak one too many pieces of toast into his mouth that morning. And, predictably, began to choke on the overwhelming amount. I saw his little eyes go round, and watched as his mouth opened wide for air. Springing into action, I was able to get the offending piece out of his way so that he could breathe and eat normally once again. No harm, no foul. It all happened in a matter of mere seconds, but again, was another metaphor for the pondering I'd been doing that morning.
At times, God does step back and allow us to make mistakes. He does allow us to choke. When we seek things that are not His will for our lives, you can bet the outcome is not going to be great. I'm the first to admit that I've choked many times. I grasped for the things I thought I wanted, only to find myself strangled by wrong decisions. Fortunately for me, my God is a loving God. A forgiving God. And I am so undeserving.
I guess you could say Caleb taught me a lot during our breakfast that morning. The lessons one can learn from a baby. And his toast.