A couple Christmases ago my mom and brother got me a Pandora bracelet. It is something I will cherish everyday for the rest of my life . . . it is filled with beads that they picked to represent me and beads I picked to represent people and things I love. One day I was on the website looking at all the beads offered and I came across an enamel one called "Baby Babushka." I wasn't sure what this meant, so naturally, I Googled it. A lot of results came up and I clicked on one that was a story explaining the meaning of the babushka; I'm still unsure as to whether or not what I clicked on is accurate, but for the purpose of this post, I hope it is.
It essentially is a Russian story told to young children about an elderly woman who lived on her own. On a cold, winter night she heard the tinkling of bells and a knock on her door. She opened it to find three elegantly dressed men atop camels; they were traveling to see a child they had received news of being born, but had lost track of their path in the weather. They asked her for directions of sorts and then encouraged her to join them. She said no, but the next morning she woke to remembering the three men and wondering about that newborn child. It is said that she can still be seen traveling through town with a basket filled with gifts for the young child and continuously searching the faces of young children to see if they are the young King those men were in search of.
I think about that charm and this story a lot and I choose to interpret it this way: Babushka spends her days and nights searching for the face of our King, for the face and presence of our Jesus. Story-tellers claim this is a sad story, but I'm not so sure I am in agreeance.
What if, as children of Christ, we spent each day narrowly seeking His face, His presence in our life? Isn't that what we are called to do? The only sadness in Babushka's story is that it is never established whether she finds that face she so desperately seeks.
In this vein of thought I begin to wonder what I could be spending my time, each day, seeking to receive out of this world, instead of spending my time searching for trivial, earthly things?
Instead of attempting to make eye contact with good looking guys that pass me by, trying to get that AHA moment of knowing he's who I've been waiting for, why don't I attempt to make eye contact with everyone and share a smile to brighten their day?
Instead of, in anger, trying to see how much times I can use the word 'fuck' in a sentence, why don't I try to come up with an alternate word and see how many times I can replace that word with something less harsh, in my times of anger?
Instead of crying or allowing myself to get in a pit of self destruction over a disagreement, an unanswered phone call, a hateful remark from someone I love, why don't I actively give praise for having someone to disagree with, for having a phone to make calls on, for having loved ones still surrounding me?
Instead of whining about having to go out in the cold to drive to work, why don't I appreciate the fact that I have, not one, but two jobs and a vehicle to get me there?
Instead of complaining about school starting back up after a nice, long break, why don't I realize the incredible fortune I've been given by being born in a country that not only allows, but encourages, the female sex to attend universities and get an education?
Reading this story about Babushka and her tireless search for the King serves as a reminder of what I need to daily be seeking out of this life: My Jesus. I need to seek His presence in my life, His forgiveness in my actions, His game book for my life.
And not only seeking Jesus, but seeking the grace He bestows upon me, without a second thought. Why am I not looking to share that grace with the people around me? Why am I not looking for people who need a smile to pick up their day? Why am I not seeking a life that is so much more than the one I am living now?
Everyday when I wake up, I need to be lifting up thanks for another day, I need to be searching for the plethora of reasons I have to be thankful, never ending cycle of reasons I have to be happy, the incredible resources I have at my hands to allow for a future filled with promise.
Babushka's tale may be sad because we never find out if she finds that baby King, but her story is inspiring because never do we read that she ceases the search party. Each day I will try to live like that Babushka- seeking the face of Jesus, searching for people to lift up, giving thanks for the life I have, the people I love, and the opportunities afforded to me. I want to be that little Babushka searching for a higher power, always moving forward, ever searching for the truest forms of living.
So, Babushka reminds me to never be comfortable standing in one place. She reminds me to always be searching for more.
What's your more? What does Babushka inspire you to move towards?