After a moment of silence, the little girl said, “Dear Lord, why did I invite all these people to dinner tonight?”
Moving along to my day on Saturday; had such a nice day with my brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephews at church and then visiting at their house. Sometimes you go though life and think that the good things you have been doing have not had any effect, but then you see how kids take everything in; everything you have ever said, done, sang, prayed, played, etc. and it is from them sometimes that you get the greatest encouragement and unconditional love. It may not be big in the world's eyes, but huge how you impact young minds and souls.
I remember when they were younger, going to their rooms to tuck them in and say their goodnight prayers with them alongside the little prayer altars they had handcrafted themselves, sometimes even with photos of people they wanted to pray for. They were cute little humble creations that you could tell a 7 year old made; but at the same time the greatest most inspiring things that you ever did see.
I remember my other (youngest) nephew's keen sense of God and how when my sister-in-law and I would be doing this detailed morning prayer, he was only about a year and a half. How could he tell, playing loudly in the corner with his toys, when we would barely get to the end (this certain phrase) and he would pop up between us to fold his hands and say "amen!"
Anyhow, today we were all trying to pay so much attention at church to the sermon because my one nephew had to write about it in a special homework/journal in preparation for his confirmation next year. It was kinda technical, but because of all the readings, the main point of it was to let our lives imitate Jesus' example in different ways. He suffered for doing good (not evil) and sometimes life and people may be very unkind to us also because of the way we live as Christians. He did not come to be served and show himself as the greatest of all but he served others and put himself last; showing us the example of love and sacrifice (ultimately his suffering and death.)
Even though I didn't get a chance tonight with the kids in this regard, I love how whenever there is religion homework, I am the first person that they think of and want to help them with it. I think how at least that is one thing that I have going for me? My niece also had to write a 500 word essay for high school on the topic of "proof for God's existance" and it made me think about things like human beings, flowers and nature around us, everyone an original, everday occurances or miracles that cannot be explained, etc, but a huge part is really if we even believe in our own hearts if there is a God or not.
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb.11:1).
Thought about my own faith and how it did actually matter in so many areas of my own life. Thought about the tidbits of things that kids say that reassure you that they actually hear and learn about God in a world that is so against it. How nice it was to show my 12 year old nephew my blog and chat with him on the ride home about Christian music and in a small way for him (and the others) to know and understand what I am about more than most grownups. He showed me a song on his mp3 as it caught his attention because the guy was singing about God and he had never paid attention to the words until now. He listened and sang along to some of my music (ah, my true godson).
Pretty much everyone sings or talks or watches stuff about gangs, murder, sex, drugs, violence, and so many other things that are not even worth or able to be mentioned here and then people wonder why the world just keeps on getting more and more messed up.
Yes, there are so many influences and yes, I so wish they could be those same little kids forever, but there is still goodness and other virtues that see in them that I don't see whatsoever in many other kids their own ages. Proud too of my niece and what I see in her that is like a jewel in a world where 15 year old girls are so spoiled and want to be little versions of Brittany or even worse; cuz I guess that is so "yesterday" now? Too many bad things around that they could look up to, I cherish the good ones that guide their lives.
It is not because of empty words or traditions, but a living example of what is real to me. My younger nephew put it best when he was paying attention to his older brother preparing for his first communion a few years ago. The kids had all come with us to church when I was doing the music one Sunday and there must have been something special on as I remember big loaves of french bread left on the table in the entrance for people to take. I never thought about it until I was explaining to him (then 4?) about communion and how it helps us grow closer to God and love others etc, and he said "OH, I KNOW; IT'S CALLED THE BE GOOD BREAD!!! YOU KNOW, LIKE THE STUFF ON THE TABLE..."
I found one of my favorite prayers from years ago online:
A prayer for service
Teach us, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve, to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to labour and not to seek for rest, to toil and not to ask for any reward save that of knowing that we do your will, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.