Baby betta’s are born into a nest of bubbles built by their father. The father guards the nest from danger and protects his young. When betta fry fall out of the nest the male gently gathers them in his mouth and spits them back into the nest. As the fry grow they tend to wander. This makes for a very busy dad. He resolutely returns them to their nest, and they grow more determined to wander. Finally the tension gets to a point where the young fish leave the nest to become independent. They will establish their own territories, build their own nests, and protect their own young.
Ducklings hatch in a nest also, but built of straw, sticks, leaves and down. When they hatch they seek provision and protection from the first being they see. (Normally their mommy) They will follow and imitate their parents. Sometimes they will have a hard time keeping up. The adult duck paces himself and chooses paths that the ducklings can handle, even though they might be stretched. The ducklings learn to walk the walk their parents walk. Someday they will lead ducklings of their own.
My father had a technique he used with us as children. Instead of gripping our hand tightly, he would expect us to hold on to him. He did not need to see us to know where we were or where we were headed. He could feel the slacking or tightening of our little hands. When we got ready to cross a busy street he would say “hang on to daddy” and he taught us to keep hold and keep up. We crossed the street where he crossed, we walked where he walked. It went beyond crossing the street. It was about what has value, what has beauty, about how to protect and how to listen, about how to console grieving believers, how to rebuke those who stray, about loving our wives and loving our God.
In going through some photographs I found one that was very enlightening. It’s a photo of my grandfather with two of his boys. (my dad and my uncle Andrew) What struck me was how they were holding onto their father’s pinkies. My grandpa Cornelius has an eye on them, but doesn’t have them on a leash. They will learn to walk his walk, and will train us to train others also.
That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:1
And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
2 Timothy 2:2