Now that I’m all grown up and settled, with children of my own, the word ‘family’ tends to make me think first of my husband and kids. But a family involves so much more than just the people you live with.
Earlier this week, my ‘baby’ sister turned 26, a number that made me gasp in shock. (Last year, when she turned 25, I kept thinking her ‘big birthday’ was her 21st.) After all, if she can get that old, I can only be older.
Growing up, my sister was my best friend of the most annoying kind. Since we moved at least once a year, and always lived in the country, local friends came few and far between. Like most big sisters, I didn’t have a younger sibling, I had an appendage that I could not shake, one who wanted to say and do everything I did.
All of that changed around the time I turned 11. We lived on the outskirts of a small town and could easily bike to our friends’ houses. Suddenly, my sister realized that I was ‘uncool’. She didn’t want to be like me anymore! The swift change startled me, and though we stayed friends, we were never as close. Add in moving, college, and marriage (plus kids for me), and now we don’t keep in touch often enough – a huge change from getting in trouble for staying up whispering all night.
My story, of course, sounds the same as most brothers and sisters, but as I thought of my changing relationship with one sibling, I considered my relationship with with another. I wonder, when Jesus walked around in the premortal existence, did he have a line of a billion younger ‘kids’ trying to be just like their big brother? Were we half as much as a pest as I thought my little sister was? And yet He still came down to save us all! Talk about a great big brother!
In our lives, we have to chose whether we are too ‘cool’ – or distracted – to emulate our Brother. We have to chose how often we’re going to ‘call home’ and talk to Him. As we progress in life, we often forget that older siblings can give great advice. But to get that advice, we have to develop a close personal relationship with Him, and most importantly, to ask Him. And we also need to remember that we’re never too cool to listen to our Oldest Brother.