In ancient shadows and twilights Where childhood has stayed The world’s great sorrows were born And its heroes were made In the lost boyhood of Judas Christ was betrayed George Russell
I’ve spent this last weekend hanging out a lot with my six year old, Evan. Johnna took Quincy (to a soccer tourney) and Shay (to visit friends in SoCal) so it was just Evan and I. I asked him what he wanted to do all weekend… he thought for a minute and then said, “Wrestle.” So we did. Lot’s of wrestling. We also ate at Sweet Tomatoes (his favorite restaurant), played video games, shot hoops, played catch, went swimming, squeezed in a couple of breathing treatments (for him, not me although I could have used them with the amount of stuff we were doing), went to Jillian’s (playing video games where he hit the jackpot on one and won 1,000 tickets. Then he raises his arm, as if he just scored a touchdown, with his mouth wide open and just stands there for a minute or so), went to church and read lots of books.
Evan is quite a bit different than our other two children. For one thing he doesn’t choose to talk as much. Every day following school I’ll ask him what he liked about the day and he responds essentially the same way each time, “Lunch and recess.” My other two will give me the rundown of the entire day including who, what, when and where but Evan is much more economical with his words. At night time he doesn’t really like to talk either. He likes to go straight to sleep. Where as his brother can lay there for two hours before falling asleep Evan can literally fall asleep in 5 minutes. Every night he lies down and says, “Love you, good night and see you in the morning.” That’s pretty much it. And then he’s out. Of course maybe he gets his short responses from me. I wasn’t really paying enough attention to him the other day and every question he asked apparently I was just responding with a short, “yep”. After a while he says, “If you say ‘yep’ again I’m probably going to have to hurt you.”
It is so interesting to watch your own children. They are so much alike and yet so different. I wander (or is it I wonder… whatever…) if God watches all of us like that sometimes and is just fascinated with our likeness and our diversity. So, next time you come across someone who you like, don’t like, can’t tolerate, like to be around, smiles, doesn’t smile, talks a lot, doesn’t talk at all, etc… remember that what you look at is not just some ordinary human being… He or she is actually a very complex, fascinating, extraordinary creation and is God’s child here on earth.
The problem with religion is that sooner or later it's defined by who's following the rules and who's not... kind of like the public swimming pool with fences, wristbands and lifegaurds watching your every move. A relationship with Jesus is more like the diving board at the public pool. When you're on one all you do is dive and invite others to do the same. There are places for structure. But when we subordinate 'the relationship' to rules everyone loses. If rules could saves us we wouldn't need a Savior. (my paraphrase of Galatians 3)
I'm married (Johnna) and have three children (Quincy, Shay and Evan). I've done some school (K-12th, College, Post-Graduate work... I think 2nd grade was my favorite). I'm currently planting a church (actually it's God planting the church. I just get to be the lead follower) in Overland Park, KS called Mission. Check it out at missionchurchonline.com.
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