This week Chelsea has the opportunity to play piano for a middle school production of Newsies. Seriously, that girl can play! But with rehearsals all week long, I am getting the chance to spend a bit more time with my kids than usual: nap-time, picking up kids from the bus stop, encouraging homework, reading, and piano practicing after school, and getting dinner on the table… all the stuff that Chelsea does so effortlessly I am getting the opportunity to do this week! Having the flexible schedule of a pastor is the only way I can do this; thank you all for the opportunity!
Whenever I get to spend time with my kids, I always end up having some stories that remind me of how the very small things we do as leaders, parents, aunts or uncles, friends, neighbors, and colleagues can have effects that will echo for all of eternity.
Three short stories from this week starring my son, Josiah.
Yesterday on the way to the bus stop, Josiah asked if he could pray for Jesus, since He died on the cross. I tried to explain that Jesus didn’t stay dead, so He didn’t need our prayers… but J was persistent. So I got to walk hand in hand as my son thanked God for being born and dying on the cross to save him from his sins. While I am not sure if J understood what he was praying, I know for certain that the only way he knew to pray like that was because he has watched his mom, dad, grandparent, aunts and uncles, preschool teachers, and friends at Grafted pray that way. By the way that we interact with the world we are training a young man to talk to God.
Last night it snowed. When I got home from UPS I grabbed a shovel to get the front walk cleared off. Chelsea and J were coming home from dropping off the girls at the bus stop and J asked if he could help me. I told him to go get a shovel and jump right in. (When 3 year-olds help with the shoveling, the work only gets harder…) Nevertheless, J and his red shovel were out and moving around the white stuff while the sidewalk got clean. When we got inside and out of the cold, I said, “hey buddy, thanks for helping me with the shoveling!” I bet you the next time it snows he will want to come out and help again… hopefully by then he will learn the snow goes OFF the sidewalk… not back on… but by a simple, “thank you,” J is learning that his actions have value.
Today, as I was writing this blog post, I pulled myself out of work mode and found J and asked him if I could share these two stories with you all. They are, after all, partially his stories to tell, not mine alone. In a simple question, J is learning that I respect his autonomy as a human being. And hopefully he sees me doing that to other people as well!
Proverbs 22:6 says,
6 Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
In some ways all of us are children, soaking up the way to interact with the world every moment of the day. What stories do you have of people who have started you off on the way to go with simple actions? How are you starting off other people in your life?