One certainty in life is a baby’s taste for milk. No prolonged training is needed! And it’s as true of babies in India as in Oregon . . . or anywhere else.
Yesterday as I toured the Taj Mahal I noticed dozens of Indian mothers and their infants present among the throngs of tourists. The white marble of the Taj reflected the sun’s midday light in quiet brilliance. Hundreds of people moved along parallel walks, flowing up to the dome and spires before us. We stopped along the way for our photos, taking in the remarkable symmetry and elegance of this 17th century gem.
The infants, on the other hand, were indifferent to the beauty so near them. Instead they were all oriented to their mothers. Their security came from the one who held them, changed them, carried them, and fed them. The Taj Mahal was simply a passing moment that all the babies ignored. The bond of need and desire represented by a mother filled their world.
In his first letter the apostle Peter wrote of our own place in a world of passing splendors, of “perishable things such as silver and gold” [1 Peter 1:18]. We, too, are infants. Infants in spirit, “born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God” [1:23].
This “seed” of God’s word birthed a faith in God in us that resets our deepest values and orientation to life. In a real sense it returns us to the place of nursing infants, with transformed tastes. What once fed us has become sawdust: “so put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.” All these things were the food of self absorption. Instead we now “long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation.”
The key to this transformation, as Peter explains, is our new desire for God’s goodness, a truth he drew from Psalm 34:8, “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!” Here we find our hearts captivated by something that makes even the Taj Mahal fade into mere background to the new ambition of knowing Christ. We become travelers in this life and members together with others who have been born again into the life that a Taj Mahal can only foreshadow. The babies have things in proper perspective: tasting the life of the one who loves us is the better reality.