Monday, September 27, 2010

A Kid's Perspective

I was struck with a funny thought the other night. My four year old was eating at the table without the booster chair. Aside from being too cute it hit me that because her eyes can barely peer over the table, she can hardly see her own food. I have faint memories of those days so long ago.

You may be privy to this phenomenon also, but anytime we use the mixer for pancakes or brownies (basically the only cooking daddy does) all three little people in my house beg to sit on the counter or to stand on a chair in order to see. How strange a world they must live in! They can’t always see what they’re eating. Meanwhile these towering giants (mom and dad) are relied upon for sustenance and to provide them with nearly everything.

How many times this week have I wished the two year old to change his own diaper or for the seven year old to babysit her siblings so mom and dad can go out to dinner? While I bemoan any of the inconveniences I am reminded that I have great power within the house – that my kids trust me inherently. If all kids knew what normalcy was then there’d be a bunch of ‘em walking out of their abusive homes towards some kind of unemployment line where they could just sign up for more trustworthy parents.

You’ll love this. The four year old was discussing Jana’s job with her. Mom’s a Labor & Delivery nurse. Every time mom goes to work somebody goes home with a new baby. So our little one wanted to know why so many babies were coming out of mommy’s tummy. Perspective. We had never thought that Jana’s job could be interpreted as one in which a nurse were a surrogate mom at the rate of five babies per week. We laughed in utter disbelief and reached out to give her a hug. As we scratched our heads we were also reminded of the responsibility and lifetime of parenting ahead of us.

Proverbs 3:5 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Just as our kids blindly trust us (at least so far), God calls us to trust Him. We don’t have his perspective. Remembering that God is our Father just as we are our kids’ parents can yield great trust, humility, and perspective. Just imagine all the things we say and do that make Him shake his head and laugh. He then responds as parents do, reaching out for a hug and taking great pride in us.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Remembering Where I Put...

I've finally gotten to the point where I unashamedly rely on my phone to replace brain cells. If it doesn't get entered on the digital daytimer, it probably isn't going to happen. My memory isn't fantastic. I don't have one of yeah, photographic memories. Were I to blame my age for this wouldn't be fair. Sometimes I blame it on my kids. ("Hey, who threw my wallet in the trash can again?") I've never had a great memory. But why the heck does it work so well in other categories?

Case in point: This morning I got a phone call reminding me that I had missed an important meeting. I've kicked myself all day for it. I've been looking forward to this meeting. A family at my church wants to dedicate their baby boy. It was even going to be held at one of my favorite coffee houses! So it definitely wasn't a lack of motivation that caused a cerebral malfunction. In fact, I just blamed myself for not entering it on the calendar on my phone because I know from past experience that I'm missing portions of that cranial daytimer.

So it would seem that my memory is poor. But then last night I get a text from my Dad who's driving across country. He and my mom were eating at a diner in Montana across the street from a prison. He asked if I remembered that place. It didn't even take a split second. We sat in a booth next to a window looking across at a prison wall. This occurred on a road trip in the 80s!

Why can I remember that while at the same time spend 45 minutes looking for my sunglasses which are on top of my head? When I combine that with the fact that my children recall events from months and years gone by, I begin to wonder...Hey, look. It's raining outside. Now where was I? Oh yeah. My 2 year old went for a walk with Jana the other day and pointed out the precise location on the trail where she had dropped her keys - 6 months ago!

I am so hungry right now. I've only had coffee and a bagel today and it's already...ok. Focus. Our bodies and our minds are a gift. This morning I read from 1st Corinthians 3 that our bodies are a temple. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. My sometimes-faltering memory is a simple reminder of sin. That everything in this world doesn't operate entirely the way it's supposed to. I guess I could blame the devil that I forgot my appointment this morning, but that wouldn't be entirely theologically correct and it would take away any responsibility on my part.

So what a gift our minds are to us. The God of the universe has made us in His image, which includes the mind. Thank you, God, for those great memories - like eating dinner at that cafe in the middle of Montana with my Dad. And I guess I could also say thanks for painful memories which remind me how good You are and that warn me of potential harm.

Oh shoot! I forgot to pick up my 2nd grader from school. Gotta go...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Football and Church

It was a crazy Sunday. Two kickoffs: NFL & Sunday School 2010-2011. For PLCC - new curriculum, new format, new teachers. For the Seahawks - new coach, new roster. After the first kickoff I was granted the opporutnity to watch the other kickoff. My boy Pete Carroll, USC coach and program savior, decided to join me in Seattle. I got to watch his first game....LIVE!

This was my first Pro game. I've been to USC games. I've been to a UW game. But this was the first Seahawk & NFL experience. Thanks to Jeff's 40th birthday and a flight from So Cal, I was invited to watch the hometown team in person. For those of you unfamiliar with Qwest Field, it's a fairly new football stadium - outdoors, but largely shielded from the rain - designed with incredible acoustics. So incredible that the Seahawks' fans (dubbed "the 12th Man") have considerable influence on the game. It's the loudest outdoor stadium in football. The screams of "defense" cause tremendous difficulty for the opposing team's communication.

It was a wild experience. And as an amateur theologian, it was a thought provoking experience. Aside from the 31-6 pummeling by the Seahawks, I witnessed incredible intensity by people willing to dress up for their team. They paint their faces. They consume great quantities of alcohol. They even cheer in the parking lot 45 minutes after the game.

Aside from the lewd behavior, count me in. (I couldn't believe that guy passed out in the second quarter in his seat.) So to those of us who consider ourselves followers of Christ, how come we aren't as enthusiastic during our worship gatherings? Alright, to my pentecostal friends, this may not be relevant. But to the rest of us, and I am pointing the finger at myself, why does our faith too often become reduced to listen to someone preach, an intellectual nod of agreement once in a while, and a quick escape to a coffee house right after?

Should we be painting our faces each Sunday? Why don't we scream "Defense" when Satan is attacking our friends? Why don't we jump up and down after a great testimony?

Here's hoping that the Seahawks AND the Church have a great 2010 season!