Imitators of God
We walk into church this past Sunday and take our seats, just behind one of our pastors, as it happens. Before long, the band starts up and the worship begins. This pastor worships in a very enthusiastic, animated way and is soon joined by a boy of about 10 or so years who is new to the church and recently gave his live to Christ. When the pastor dances, the boy dances, when the pastor claps or kneels, he follows suit. It is clear the boy looks up to the pastor and wants to be like him, and perhaps seeks approval from him, though I have seen the pastor point him toward Christ as the object of and reason for the worship.
I am somewhat distracted in my own worship as I watch the two, both in amusement but also with some concern that the boy is focused too much on the pastor. But God changes my perspective in that quiet way He has, by giving me an image. Perhaps God sees me just as I am seeing the boy in the row in front of me, and I have to chuckle.
God does call us follow and imitate Him:
The Lord told Moses to say to the community of Israel, “Be holy, because I, the Lord your God, am holy.” (Leviticus 19:1-2, Good News Bible)
Therefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father]. (Ephesians 5:1, Amplified Version)
Yet, I know my efforts at this are usually so feeble and awkward, and my motives are often not pure. I stumble, turn the wrong way, get distracted or become stubborn, and end up looking nothing like my Father. Yet, I think God smiles on my efforts because He knows I am but a child. He keeps teaching me, pointing me in the right direction, and encouraging me.
Smiling, I return to my own worship of my Creator, my Father, and my Perfect Example and Model, with a prayer of thanksgiving and an appeal for help with my emulation skills. As the last song ends, before the boy leaves to sit with his father for the rest of the service, the pastor gives him a hug. I accept one from my Father as well.
Who are you imitating today?