Written by: James Thompson
Last Sunday I had a shadow. It followed me wherever I went. I stopped, it stopped. I walked, it walked. I walked faster, it walked faster. I stopped suddenly, it rammed into my backside and giggled.
My shadow’s name was Lexi. Lexi is my self-proclaimed “Middle-est.” Of my children, she is not the old-est or young-est. But, by golly, she was not going to be the only one without an “-est”. So, lo and behold, she came up with “middle-est”.
So, as I went about my activities on Sunday afternoon, I was followed and followed and followed some more.
I asked my shadow, “What are you doing?”
My shadow responded, “Watching you.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Because I want to watch you.” she replied.
Can’t argue with that.
The whole situation reminded me of something I’ve been told a million times. “Your kids watch everything you do.”
And, I mean EVERYTHING!
Usually this nugget of wisdom is thrown one’s way as an attempt to remind you to act better (don’t text and drive or check email at stop signs/lights) or maybe to stop a habit that you don’t want them little eyeballers to adopt (like smoking or drinking wine from a box).
This “wisdom” is usually thought of (at best) for a second and discarded.
Yet, a person’s comment this past weekend, brought back the implications of this “shadowing” this past weekend.
Last week, Missy and I attended a convention for Christian home schooling families. There were people everywhere. And, there were little people everywhere…..EVERYWHERE. It only makes sense. It appears that most of the families there had multiple children. By multiple, I am meaning at least as many as fingers on the average non-butcher/woodworker/lumberjack’s hand. We met families with 5, 7, 14, and as many as 19 children (yes, the Duggars were there). So, these people had lots of “shadows.”
One of the speakers said something to the effect of (“to the effect” means I wasn’t paying particular close attention until I heard something that caught my ear and then had to recreate the context in which it was said) that your children will only love a god as big as the one you worship. Wow. Never thought of it that way.
But, really is it any different than “the kids are watching you” advice/warning that you’ve heard so many times? Where that advice is to get you to examine your vices, this statement was one to get you to examine your convictions/beliefs.
I think that this statement transcends whether you have children (i.e. shadows) or not. If we are called upon to make disciples of others, what is the God like of which we are seeking to make disciples?
Who is the God you worship?
Is he a small God that you only worship on Sundays?
Is he a God you can control?
Is he a God that you listen to only when you have time?
Is the God you worship the creator of the earth and heavens (Isaiah 45:12)?
Is the God you worship “greater than our understanding” (Job 36:26)?
I was convicted by the speaker’s statement. Not only because I fear the God I have presented to my children is thanked sporadically for his blessings; is not asked for his guidance first in every endeavor; not spoken with daily; but because I may have also made him small.
Let us all remember that the God we worship is the same one relied upon by David against Goliath.
I Samuel 17:45-47
David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
Be aware of the shadow(s) you cast.