The moment I start my lawnmower, a little face appears in the window next door. Within seconds, Karl is by my side, smiling up at me through his pacifier. Karl is three-years-old and for the last few months, he has “helped” me tend to my lawn every Saturday morning.

As I mow strip after strip, Karl follows behind with his own plastic lawnmower. It doesn’t trim a single blade of grass, but it does shoot out bubbles as he totters along. Every once in a while, he’ll go rogue and start mowing in circles, but as I stay on track, cutting in straight, neat lines, Karl usually falls back in step behind me.

He doesn’t say much, but his innocent giggle tells me he is enjoying every moment of our mostly wordless time together as much as I am.

Every time we work side by side, bringing a sort of beauty out of the chaos of an overgrown yard, I can’t help but wonder if the joy I experience watching Karl imitate me is anything like the joy God experiences when I imitate Him.

After all, it’s what I was made to do.

The Bible says that I was created in the image of God. So were you. We were not created to be God, of course, but to serve as His representatives to a watching world.

To be merciful as He is merciful. To uphold justice as He upholds justice. To give as He gives. To serve as He serves. To love as He loves.

We are at our best when we are imitating the heart and character of God and He delights in seeing us at our best (though He still loves us at our worst).

The question is, how often are we at our best?