Nobody really wants to think about death, but the older you get, the closer it is. Certain life events force us to contemplate the true and significant value of life. It’s strange that we don’t like to talk about something none of us can escape. The Bible talks about a couple of people that actually never died – Elijah and Enoch.
The story of Enoch has always fascinated me. The bible doesn’t give much information, except that after he had a son there seemed to be a significant change:
“When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.” (Genesis 5:21-24 NIV)
Enoch lived a different life. Why?
Could it have something to do with becoming a father? I know becoming a dad had a massive impact on me. I became a Christian at 14 years of age and I became a father at 29. It has been an amazing faith adventure and as I look back there seems to be a significant difference between before and after becoming a father.
These two words would aptly summarise my experience: projection and reflection.
My first years walking with Jesus were obviously marked by a steep learning curve, but I also think there was a lot of unlearning. My past, my mistakes, my upbringing and my relationships all helped to develop mindsets that, to be honest, needed to be surrendered to God’s Kingdom ways. I think in many ways I was living a projected Christianity on behalf of so many well meaning people in my life.
My dad was a loving father who always provided for us and protected us, but becoming a father had a profound impact on my life. I now had a perspective to give love and protection, not just receive it. Whilst this allowed me to appreciate my own dad, I think it was my relationship with God that was probably most affected.
No longer was I just projecting the life that God had graciously put into me, now I was beginning to reflect a life that God was intimately developing out from me.