My son Titus is making a certain situation amazingly clear for me lately. In the process of us moving to Austin, we interrupted his eating development plan. Okay, maybe there wasn’t really a plan, but he was moving forward, baby. Before we got to Austin, he was starting to eat little bits of food on his own. When we were living in a one roomed hotel in Austin for a month, he was back to eating baby food out of the jar while sitting in his umbrella stroller. Fortunately we are back in a house and he has his own highchair now. We’ve made every effort to cut up little bits of food for him so he can feed himself. Guess what? He’s not having any of it. He’ll look at the food, maybe even poke at it (on occasion when we are not looking, he’ll pick it up and drop it on the floor) but he’s not eating it. Funny thing is that this is food he’s eaten before and has enjoyed. However, when we place the food in his mouth, he acts as if we just put the most detestable thing possible in his mouth. We’ve been going through this for a few days now and it is getting better, but there is still some wailing and gnashing of teeth at each meal.
So what’s the problem? Titus is lazy. He’d rather his mom or dad feed him. Instead, we’re allowing him to be a big boy and feed himself. The same is true for his bottle. He’d much rather me hold the bottle while he drinks away… but I have to take both of his hands and place them on the bottle and then remove my hands. He usually offers a quick grunt of protest, but then takes over. Hey, I don’t blame him. If I could lay around and have other people feed me each bite of food, I think I might like that. As much as we love our baby, he needs to grow up and feed himself already!
This past Sunday, Brian Tome from Crossroads Church in Cincinnati, OH spoke. It was very good… talking about pride. He made one point that hit the nail on the head and it was about the “super spiritual” people who either back out of serving or leave your church because they’re not being fed. Brian put it into beautiful perspective. There are only two kinds of people who need to “be fed.” Either an infant or an invalid. All others learn to feed themselves as a sign of maturity.
It’s actually been a while since I’ve heard someone use this excuse. I know when I’ve had volunteers suddenly quit on me because the “want to be fed” I would get so frustrated. However, I think these people are a product of our own doing to some degree. They feel the need to “get fed” because we’ve created the environment where they come back week after week to be fed. Perhaps we haven’t taught them how to feed themselves. In addition, are we providing opportunities for individuals who are serving in our ministries to get encouraged and filled up through their volunteer connection. It’s a good idea.
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