Cascade is my beautiful four-and-a-half-year-old. And this morning, she amazed me.
After we sang the last song, the choir exited the platform and Pastor Rob approached the pulpit. As I reached for my Bible, Cascade grabbed a hymnal–thinking it was a Bible. But as soon as she opened it, she realized that it was, in fact, a hymnbook, not a Bible. Not satisfied with simply having a book, she replaced it in the open pew slot and took out the pew Bible. As she settled into the pew, she opened the Bible only to realize that she had it upside down. Not content to have an upside-down Bible, she turned it so that she could read the words (even though she can’t really read yet). Then what happened floored me. Mommy offered Casade her kid-friendly Bible with pictures. She flatly rejected the offer, preferring, instead, a “real” copy. And–if that wasn’t enough, as Cacade looked at the place in the Bible that she had opened to and compared it to what Celena had opened to–the text of Acts, chapter thirteen–she began a fast search to find it. That’s when I jumped in to help.
That experience reminded me of something Dayton, my seven-year-old, said last weekend. With the DS game console in his hand, he asked me if we were going to have some time in the Bible. Of course, I said “Yes.” (What choice did I have?) Then he replied, “Good, because it is better than this” (the DS).
More is caught than taught!
My kids understand the value of God’s Word. They agree with the sentiments of David:
“The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether. They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb” (Ps. 19:7-10).
In one of the courses I am teaching currently, we are studying the book of Colossians. I have always appreciated the admonition of the first several verses of chapter three. The Apostle Paul wrote,
“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Col. 3:1,2).
Psalm 1 exhorts me to meditate upon God’s Word day and night (1:2). What would cause such a radical habit–the continued contemplation upon the Word of God? Delight. “But his delight is the law of the Lord” (1:2).
I am not convinced that Cascade and Dayton truly delight in the Word of God. However, they do see it as a valuable possession. They have an awareness that the Bible is special. If I have taught them anything, I have taught them this. My hope is that they have also seen my delighting in the Scriptures. Trust me when I say that I will use these recent experiences with the children to spur me on to greater delight and an even more conscious example.
PS–If you look closely at the Bible in Cascade’s lap, you will see two Latin words – tolle lege. Those were the words Augustine heard the children singing in the famous account of his conversion. Translated, they mean “Take up and read.” Let’s do so this week! Pick up. Read. Delight.