I watched five-year-old Isley plop down in front of yet another episode of “My Little Pony”. In her perfect world, it would be a castle, ponies–the names and personalities of each of them as familiar to her as her own name–various other critters, and her.
What fascinated me was the way she sat. Her feet stacked on each other and folded under her like a little elf. Resting on her knees and shins.
It looked painful.
When I mentioned how unusual it looked to see her sit that way, her dad volunteered, “I sit that way.” And he dropped to his knees, feet stacked and tucked. Looking like a great big elf.
If I’d tried to do that, I’d still be sitting there.
I look at our six kids. Nobody questions that they’re siblings–they all smile the same way. Like me.
I smile like my dad.
Their face shapes are like John’s side of the family. Oval faces instead of my square one.
They’re all easy-going, people-focused, fun-loving kids. A genial combination of the two of us.
Genetic predispositions. Like fingerprints on our lives.
Don’t get me wrong. They’re each their own unique person, expressing the continuum of personality traits. But when we’re all together, the family resemblance is strong.
We’re all giant puzzles, with different pieces of us coming from the different parts of our stories. Some of our biggest pieces come from our family of origin. The most obvious place it impacts is our personal “packaging”. What we look like.
Add to that familial personality quirks and attitudes, and these become significant puzzle pieces.
We become reflections of those who birthed us and raised us. Those who’ve impacted our lives through time and genetics.
My twin sister and I don’t look much alike. But hang with us a bit and you’ll discover the same quirky sense of humor. And we both drive like Dale Earnhardt Jr.
There are things I like about me. (My smile). Some things I can’t change. (I’m short).
What amazes me is how much the people I spend time with–by choice or necessity–influence the way I act.
Take Moses for example. He’d gone up to Mt Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments from God. He spent quite a bit of time talking with God–forty days and nights. The Lord knew him face to face.
When he came down, he wasn’t aware of how that time had affected him.
“When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai carrying the two Tablets of the Testimony, he didn’t know that the skin of his face glowed because he had been speaking with God.” Exodus 34:29
Not only was he made in God’s image–as we all are. His time spent with God–forty days of conversation–impacted him. Visually.
God’s fingerprints on his life.
My packaging can be enhanced by what my life reflects. I get to choose who will be the main influence in my life.
It makes a lot of sense to go with the One who has an eternal plan for me.
Whose fingerprints are you allowing to shape your life?