Thursday, March 1, 2012

This Island Is Shrinking

Yesterday as I was driving Sydney and Raegan to school it was raining. It had been raining for a few days and some of the roads were flooding. Raegan (7 yrs. old), who is always thinking, said “Dad, I thought God promised not to flood the earth again? You know the rainbow tells us so.” I responded by telling him that God promised not to destroy the whole earth by flood again, but it still happens in places where there is too much rain or a bad storm. His response was priceless, “Well, he’s shrinking the Island today!”
I guess the United States is just a really big island. Raegan’s comments always make us laugh, but along with him funny statements he has a lot of deep thoughts that keep me thinking long after he’s moved on. I’ve been chewing on what he decided to give up for Lent. Kerry and I never really knew about the Lent season until we moved to Coppell, Texas. Our church, along with some dear Catholic friends, introduced us to the forty day time period leading up to Easter. Since then we’ve tried to practice the art of giving up to remember. This year we decided to tell the kids about it and ask if they wanted to participate. When we told them what Mom and Dad were setting aside for the 40 days, Raegan jumped in with no Star Wars on TV. Now if you’ve been around the kid lately, you know that he lives, breaths, plays and watches Star Wars more than he eats. In fact giving up food would rival his sacrifice of no Yoda, Anikan Skywalker and The Force. Seconds after his proclamation he jumped down from the counter and headed off to ride his bike around the neighborhood looking for his friends. Just like that, he made a decision to walk away from his ever present Star Wars world and continue on with life. Needless to say my motivation to stick to my commitment is a little stronger because of him.
Simple Faith really de-clutters our walk with Christ. My children continually remind me in their approach to a life with Christ that I really do complicate a simple response. My response to Him should take seconds, not days, months, years or a lifetime. I should be willing to give up the most important things, jump of the seat and head out into the world to find my friends. But that “something” keeps me stuck in my response. I can explain those “somethings” away with greater and deeper adult issues and a deeper, richer, more dominoes will fall with this decision excuses. But in the end they are excuses. I can’t find in scripture where it tells me to have a childlike faith, in fact during my searching, acting like a child is whole lot more negative when scripture describes it; but Jesus teachings weren’t complicated. Matthew 4:19 starts, “Come, follow me”; 28:19 says pretty simply, “Therefore go”. In Mark chapter 1, the next page over in my Bible, he is driving out an evil spirit and tells it, “Be quiet!”(25) As I spend time in the red letter portions of scripture, things are pretty simple.
Pray with me that our lives in Christ are simple steps of obedience, as simple as walking away from whatever it is and going onto the next adventure in life. And pray that this shirking island thing takes awhile to get to Arkansas.

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