4/16/08

Things about God I'm Learning from my Three Year Old

Forgiveness
The scene: Benton is in time-out (a little blue stool looking at the chocolate wall in the corner of the kitchen). I hear him talking.
A: No talking in time out!
B: I was just talking to God. (how can he be in trouble over that?!)
Timer beeps.
A: What were you and God talking about?
B: I was just asking him a question.
A: Oh? What question did you ask him?
B: God, did you tell Noah to build the ark?
A: And did God answer your question?
B: Sighs. No.
A: I only ask because when we ask God questions, if we listen real close, he'll answer them.
B: He didn't. But he forgived me.
Moral of the story: So often the questions we ask God are just about that far off the wall to Him. And if you listen carefully, He answers the question you should have asked--even if the answer isn't exactly what you wanted to hear.

Why?
Benton asks why a zillion times a day.
A: It's time to get dressed.
B: Why?

A: Come eat breakfast.
B: Why?

A: Go sit in time out.
B: Why?

A: Look at the squirrel!
B: Why?

A: This is baby Mandy.
B: But why?

It's enough to drive a mother insane, explaining cause and effect, sociology, science, math, grammar and the nature of God to a three year old. The other day in the car when he was back seat driving...
B: Mommy! You didn't stop at the stop sign!
A: It's a "right turn permitted without stopping"
B: But why?
A: There is a sign right under the stop sign that tels me I can go. If you could read it, you would understand.
B: But why?
A: Ben, could you just trust that I will get you there safely? You don't always need to know why.
Moral of the story: You know when a light bulb goes on in your head? This was like one of those really bright fluorescent lights coming on in my head, complete with the zingy hum. How many times to we pester God with "why's" when we can't possibly comprehend the answer? Job asked God why until God unleashed three chapters of "you can't even think about sort of understanding a little bit of why" (Job 38-41). Though it would be great to know and awesome, in the truest sense of the word, to understand the way God's mind works, we are far better off trusting that He will get us there safely.

Names
Every now and then, my sweet and jolly Benton has a whiny day. He spends the entire day whining my name in various forms of irritating.
"Mommy!" Short and abrupt (angry)
"Maaaaammy! Lengthens the word and increases the pitch.
"Mommy-ah!" Pitch increases exponentially and another syllable is added.
The other day, I snapped.
"Benton, it was one of the happiest days of my life when you learned to say my name, but it literally hurts my ears when you misuse my name like that."
Moral of the story: Another "zing." There's more than one way to "take the name of the Lord your God in vain." How it breaks my heart to know that there are times His name coming out of my mouth sounds to Him like finger nails on a chalk board. Mommy is nothing. His name is the Name above all names.

4 comments:

Meghan said...

I wish I could be that insightful.

Cathy said...

It is really amazing how much WE can learn from our learning children...if only we'd know it when it's actually happening...like your beautiful examples! Thanks for sharing. It reminds me to keep my ears and eyes open even that much more!!

Aly said...

I never knew my children could teach me so much about God. I too think of "God" parallels throughout the day. Do you think he uses the illustration of us being like children for a reason? Oh, yes.

Good insights.

Tawny said...

I love this post. Wow, you made my heart flip!