Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Teachers on Life - Wisdom from Mom

DISCLAIMER: I do not own this story. This post has been copied and pasted with permission from a friend of mine who wishes to remain anonymous. I asked him if he had a story to share for my 'teachers on life' posts. This is his writing not mine. Any comments to this post will be forwarded to him and he will respond if you want him to. 

One summer when I was probably 3 or 4 years old, my mom and grandmother took me and my younger sister to Beech Bend amusement park in Bowling Green. My grandmother was always prepared like a Boy Scout for trips like this, and this was no exception; she came to the car with large "sippy cups" filled with ice water for me and my sister. I don't remember beans about the drive down or the day at the amusement park except that it was really hot, and by the time we got back to the car, I was sweating and tired. Using all the critical thinking skills typically exhibited by an exhausted preschool-age kid, I got in the car and grabbed the sippy cup - which had been sitting in the car all day - taking a huge gulp to slake my thirst. As you can imagine, water that has been sitting in an uninsulated plastic sippy cup in a 100+ degree car all day is somewhat less than refreshing, and my reaction was about what you'd expect, except I managed to choke it down rather than spew it all over the back seat.

An amusing anecdote became a life lesson with what my mom - a youth Sunday school teacher - said next. "You know how badly you just wanted to spit out that lukewarm water?" she asked.

"Uh huh."

"The Bible says that's how God feels about a lukewarm Christian," she said, alluding to Revelation 3:15-16 ("I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.")

Now, besides providing an illustration of a biblical concept that even a 4-year-old can clearly understand, this taught me an even more important lesson about teaching your kids biblical principles. Not only do I think about this incident pretty much every time I read Revelation 3:15-16 - even though it happened almost 30 years ago - I also think about it every time I read Deuteronomy 6:6-7 ("And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.") This is an admonition not to just talk about "church stuff" at church, but to integrate "church stuff" into your daily life so your kids can learn it 7 days a week. My mom had (and still has) the wisdom to do this. She didn't think "Oh, he's so little he won't understand." And you know what? She was right. Not only did I understand, I haven't ever forgotten it. Now, as the father of a 2-year-old little girl, I hope I can demonstrate this same wisdom as a parent.

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