February 16, 2008
Childish Children of God
Each month, we get together with a few other couples that we are friends with and also go to church with. I say friends first because our church is so big, we rarely see them there. I’ve always said if you want to get to know people from church, you’re not going to get to know them in the hallways after Sunday morning services. You have to get to know them outside of the church.
So we’re having our friends over tonight and here’s one of the topics for discussion:
I was recently going through the schoolnight routine of putting my youngest son, Collin, to bed. I think he’s a night owl like me – he just does not like going to bed. As I said goodnight and stepped out the door, I heard,
Barely through the door, I was immediately back in his room, ready to see what he wanted. He then asked me these questions:
1. Why did you marry Mom?
2. What do people do in jail?
3. Why is Grant (his 14-year old brother) so grumpy?
For a moment, I smiled…laughed a bit…and felt a bit of pride that my 11-year-old has become so good at asking conversation provoking, open-ended questions. Try answering any of those questions in three words or less!
Being his Father, I know my son well. I know he was just slightly interested in the answers to those questions, but much moreso, I know:
He wanted something from me.
He needed me at that moment.
He wanted to be with his Father.
Later, I realized that if you believe in God, this is often the way we interact with Him. The good part is that when we do this, it reminds us that we believe – and that we need Him and want to be with Him.
The childish thing, however, is that the catalyst to us calling out “Hey Dad?” can be that we want something from Him. On our own time table, we turn to Him, call out to Him solely based on our needs at that particular moment.
Let’s face it, God’s kids can be childish at times.
I want to think God reacts the same way I did with Collin…smiling, listening, loving, sometimes giving. He is there. As a Father, I don’t get my feelings hurt when my son’s motives seem a bit selfish – he is a child. It’s also nice to feel needed. I’d like to think God feels that way too.
Part of becoming less childish in our relationship with God has to be spending more time seeking him when we don’t particularly need something from Him. When Collin and Grant seek me out just because they sincerely want to be with me, I have to admit that is a wonderful feeling and it shows me they are growing up and valuing important relationships.
So what do we do with this?
How do we put this into action?
If we sometimes feel a bit guilty for turning to God when we need something, why don’t we also feel good on those rare ocassions when we spend time with him when we’re not in need?