Thursday, January 05, 2006

What Was I Thinking When I Put That In My 1973 Yearbook?

I attended a prestigious prep school in Honolulu and as a senior I was able to put anything I wanted next to my senior photo in a space that filled about the size of a 3 by 5 card. What did I choose to put there to make my statement to my fellow students? I drew a silly cartoon (not very well, I might add) about a man who sees a singing fly come land on his head and then fly away. At the end of this weird little human-insect encounter this little stick man starts to sing a song of praise to God he learned from the fly. I then inserted a reference from the Psalms about how all creation teaches us to praise God. This was my big spiritual statement to the world as a graduating senior. Over the years I have been kind of embarrassed about my clumsy, amateurish attempt to express my faith in the Lord before my peers. But you know, here I am 33 plus years later and I am increasingly convinced that God's presence can be experienced in the smallest of things...and that I need to learn to better celebrate the moment, the "miraculous in the mundane."

When you last heard from me, my wife Cindy and I were embarking on a Christmas "outside of the box" experience taking the family down to Nicaragua for six weeks to housesit for a missionary family, visit some missionaries, do some volunteer work, learn to speak Spanish better and just slow down and be as a family. What I have learned is that I have been going way too FAST and we have been missing many of the moments where we could have simply enjoyed as a family together. Here in Nicaragua we have spent time talking, playing games together, working together, having conflict and working it out together, watching and talking about DVDs we have watched together, driving (and getting lost) together, laughing together, listening to and playing music together and just BEING together.

This experience here in Nicaragua, a little "fly" of a country, has caused me to realize that my tendency is to be either looking backwards at some imaginary past, some better time of my life or looking forward and imagining an easier future when the kids will be no longer a burden or responsibility. I believe this is a lie from the enemy of our souls and of our families! God is present NOW in the simple things, the small things, the insignificant things we do together with our families. These are the things that reveal God's glory to us and our families. We just slow down enough to see Him work and to listen to Him speak.

So in retrospect, maybe that little cartoon I drew in my yearbook of a singing fly teaching a man to praise God idea wasn't such a crazy idea after all!

1 comment:

Joe Henderson said...

I wish I had done that in high school. But what I wanted to comment on was that this past year we introduced "family night" where its games and snacks. I have seen my extended family grow in ways I didn't expect. You gave me the idea in your fathering forum at Northwest Christian Education Conference.