Wednesday, July 24, 2013

It's NOT That Complicated

I think Albert Einstein may have generated more of my favorite quotes than any other source besides Jesus. One of my very favorites is: "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." In matters of faith, "this is most certainly true" (to quote another favorite genius, Martin Luther.) I have heard people explain very complicated ideas to children in a way that they can understand. Games, pictures, Legos, food, pets, relationships can all be used to explain things to kids. Experiential Learning - learning by doing. Did you learn anything about monopolies by playing the game? Have you ever heard someone explain architecture in terms of Jenga or Legos? Children learn by doing.

So parents, if you are having trouble explaining faith to your child, maybe you don't understand it well enough. Maybe the faith you had when you left middle school hasn't been taken out, dusted off, and test driven for a long time. So when your child parrots what he learned in Sunday School, "Let's pray about it, Ms. _______ says that God will listen to our prayers!", you may feel uncomfortable. You may not know how to respond, or you may even undermine what your child has learned. Why not simply take that worthy piece of advice, sit down with your child, and pray about it? Even if prayer is your normal habit, you may be surprised by what happens next!

As many of you know, I am in process of a job search. Last week I got a call inviting me to come in for a face-to-face interview in another state. A state where I don't know a single soul, have only driven across, and one that is different from both the Midwest and Texas where I have spent most of my life. So I reverted to the simplest formula I knew: I prayed. I told God that I was afraid. I told God that I would go if it that was the plan, but couldn't I please go somewhere where I knew someone? Guess what happened next. Yep, I crossed paths with someone. She isn't just from the state, or the metro area, or even the town. She lives two blocks from the church where I will be interviewing, and we already have many things in common. In a crowd of 6,000 people, I met the one person who was the answer to my prayers.

Dust off those most basic tools of faith and put them to use. Prayer is a good place to start because you can easily do it with your children. Give thanks, ask forgiveness, pray for people who need things, and ask God for guidance in your own life. Don't forget to pray for the pets. It will help you pass on faith to your children. Keep track of your prayers and it will help you increase your trust in God. It's really not that complicated. 

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