Thursday, August 17, 2006

Don't Miss the Bus

1st day of school!

School started this week for our kids. Wow. We now have a child in Jr Hi. (yes, we are that old). One in fourth grade and our youngest in Kindergarten. Quick, where does the word kindergarten come from…? Huh? Got you, didn’t I? It’s German. Yep, ‘kind’ means child and ‘garten’ refers to garden. (Apparently before school young German children played in the garden a lot… OK, I made that last part up. I have no idea.) Anyhow, is there anything sweeter than watching your five year old, with his new backpack get on the bus for the first time with his brother and sister? (You’d have to be a parent to answer that so in case you’re not a parent the answer is no.)

So, we communicate to the 9 year old about how he’s supposed to help the 5 year old get to his class, right? Because it would be lame for a parent to just send the boy off by himself with no direction. And yet I’m not entirely sure the 9 year old understands the importance of making sure the little guy goes exactly to the right spot. So, the first couple of days I drive behind the bus and setup a reconnaissance post just outside the school playground, behind the fence. (Come to think of it I probably looked like some perpetrator with my pajamas still on, cap on backwards with sun glasses peering in through the fence… Probably not good advertising for my church… hmm… I’m going to have to rethink that in the future…)

All right, got the mental picture? Dad’s watching the boys. They don’t know it. It’s the first time for both of them. For one, it’s the first time to ride the bus and get to class from the bus. That takes a lot of courage. For the other it’s the first time to get the younger one from the bus to class. That’s a big responsibility. Dad’s watching the whole thing go down fighting the urge to just ‘step in’ and make sure it all happens like it’s supposed to.

You’re already ahead of me probably… Don’t you think there’s some correlation there to what Father God does with us? (except for the 'fighting urges' part and the peering thru fences looking like a perp!) The idea is that God is watching us. For some He's watching us attempt to be courageous during our ‘first time’… the first time to confront someone, the first time to admit to being a Jesus follower in front of people, the first time to make a big move, start something new, experience some new challenge, etc… God ahead. Be strong. God is with you.

For others of us God might be watching us during our first time to help someone. Sometimes we fail to see the importance of helping others. Or maybe like my older son we don't get the 'communication' right. Let me put it this way: As you pursue Jesus, God will allow people to come into your life that need your help. You might say, I don’t want them or I don’t have time or I can’t do it or I’m not ready… It doesn’t matter. They’re going to come. Following Jesus is not an individual thing. It’s highly relational. Our 21st century, Western culture twists our understanding of following Jesus and tries to make it strictly personal. That’s not the way the Scriptures approach it. It’s not what Jesus had in mind. Rather we are to “season” the world. We are to “bear with one another”. We are to “love as Christ loved us”.

Well, of course, I cannot follow the bus everyday to the school and watch my boys. But there is someone who follows us everywhere we go, day and night. He’s watching us. He loves us. He expects us to attempt new things with courage and embrace the responsibility of helping others do the same.

don’t miss the bus, j


jtc said...

I often feel like a kid in the back of the class, hoping that the teacher doesn’t call on me… because I definitely don’t have the answer. I feel like I’m always waiting for a fortune cookie with just the right words of wisdom, a perfect verse with perfect answers … when maybe I don’t even understand the questions? Maybe there is more to learn in the lesson than just the answer …maybe knowledge lies in the waiting? I’m not sure but I do know that where there’s still hope there’s still time … so maybe I should raise my hand more

jonathan foster said...

dude, you sound like a ninja master... "knowledge lies in the waiting"

just messing with you. you are right! waiting is a big part of life but keep raising your hand and asking questions.