My family means the world to me. This is not only because they are the people that care about me the most, but because they are also the ones who teach me about who I am called to be. My wife encourages me daily, softens my heart and also helps me to grow as a person. My extended family tells me the truth when it is hard to do so and knows the private version of myself…the part of me that can release professionalism and embrace nonsense from time to time. My kids are a like a mobile classroom and simply raising them is the equivalent to pursuing a doctoral degree in physics, chemistry, biology, theology and psychology.
Tonight, my son and I had an interesting conversation about the church. I asked him if he knew what I did at church every Sunday. “You sing for people at church”, he said confidently.
“Sometimes I sing with other people, but what do I normally do at church?”
“I don’t know”
I engaged him in a conversation that was meant to explain what I do. To simplify, I told him I teach people about God at church. Then, what came out of his mouth was incredible.
Josiah: That’s good to teach people about God…I am glad we have a thankful church.
Me: A thankful church? What are we thankful for?
Josiah: We are thankful for each other and thankful for Jesus.
Me: Why are we thankful for Jesus?
Josiah: (pause)…because He has been faithful to us.
When my 3.5 year old son says something like this it is hard to know how to respond. I struggled to know what to say, and finally I told him he was right….even though he didn’t realize the full implication of what he said.
Why can’t we get this right? Why can’t we embrace God’s faithfulness fully and reject our tendency to walk away from His love? Why do we spend so much time hating what is right and desiring what will destroy us? Most humans are stuck in a delicate balance between desiring to be independent and wanting to be guided in the direction of wisdom.
Let’s face it…sometimes kids remind us of things we have swept under the proverbial rug of our lives. It’s a humbling experience, but we need it. It is time for us to wake up and remember why we are followers of Christ. Not because He gives us stuff, but because, through discipline and tenderness, He is always faithful.