My four year old son is very inquisitive. He’s constantly asking about every noise, light, button, machine, road sign, etc. etc. But it’s not just the “what” questions. It’s the “how” and “why.” Lately, he’s been asking me about death, heaven, Jesus, etc. And although I’ve believed in Jesus my entire life, his questions threw me for a loop. He’s small, how do I explain things we can’t see with our eyeballs to a child? I figured, come on it cant be that hard.
In the Biblical book of Romans there’s a verse about God’s attributes being so plain to people, through the things He’s created, that we are without excuse. Truth isn’t something that needs dug up. To not see and believe the truth requires suppression.
So I grabbed the Jesus Storybook Bible and read this on the back: The Jesus Storybook Bible invites children to discover for themselves that Jesus is at the center of God’s great story of salvation - and at the center of their story too.
Is He? I spaced out for a minute.
Of course! I thought about my life trajectory, both inside (my head and spirit) and out, and my son’s marble run came to mind. There’s a piece at the top shaped like a flattish bowl with a hole in the middle that the marble orbits around, closer and closer. That is exactly how it feels to live on this earth, headed toward heaven with Jesus at my center, but experiencing painfully slow sanctification.
One minute, I'm joyful and patient, then the next, I'm right back to being prideful, short-tempered, and putting my comfort and assumptions first.
But I get closer.
By the Creator's faithfulness to me and renewed mercies every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23), whenever I roll away, I orbit right back.
Closer and closer.
And I can't explain it - I've felt that pull since I was a small child. Oh Becca, that was just your parents' indoctrination.
Maybe for some people it is. But for me, it was far and above that. Because it never stops, it only gets stronger and more present and, dare I say, more delightful the older I get.
And as an aside - if God Himself invites questioning and disputing (Isaiah 1:18), then Christianity is the farthest thing from indoctrination. When you are taught to never ask questions, that is indoctrination. Because the leader - the founder - knows there is something to hide. The truth of God is on full display daily in nature, in the historical person of Jesus Christ, the miraculously cohesive 66 books of the Bible, and in the lives of people doing the supernatural, unbelievable work of forgiving their enemies. Ask, doubt, wonder. Hash it out. Praying when you're angry is better than never praying at all. I'd rather my children talk to me when they are sad or angry than shut down and pretend I don't exist at all.
That was the point of this post.
When you find yourself in the aphelion of your spiritual orbit (the farthest point), be encouraged that the only direction left to go ... is back towards the center.
The One who made you is faithful still.