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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Fellowshipping with Five-Year-Olds

If you have been familiar with this blog, my Flickr page, or my life in general, you know that my five-year-old niece Delaney is one of my "best friends". We don't get a chance to talk a lot these days, but we usually catch up on the weekend. As usual, I asked Delaney what she was learning at school (she started kindergarten this week), and she told me about Apple Annie. Later today, after church, I asked her what she had learned in Sunday School and Children's Church. She told me about the story or Ruth and Naomi. She also has a verse she memorizes every other week, and she usually shares with me the verse she had memorized. After we got off the phone, I began thinking about the average conversation I have with fellow Christians. "How was your day?" I would ask. "Fine." "How was church this past Sunday?" "Good." And the conversation usually went along those lines. Suddenly, I realized that I held a greater degree of accountability to a five-year-old than I did with most Christians. With Delaney, we would talk about the truths of the Bible, verses memorized, and lessons learned as we grew together, while with adult Christians, it was the weather, the temperature in the church, the number of people attending, the quality of the sermon, etc. In our short conversations, Delaney and I would share profound truths about God, despite that she has the mind of a five-year-old, and I am 20 years older than she. Our fellowship, the sharing of our lives, seem more sincere and real than most superficial and non-transparent routines of conversation. Rarely is there conversation with adults over the matter of meditation, Scripture memory, lessons learned, or areas of your life where you are growing in. I am sure the fault is mostly with me, but can we all say that there is a simplicity and soundness of fellowship we can all learn here? How much of your conversation and time with other Christians goes deeper than the pre-programmed talk of daily routines and Christian lingo? For Delaney, she hasn't developed that, and I hope she doesn't. For there to be true community and authentic fellowship, we need to get past our spiritual fronts and performances and dig deep into one another's lives, to matters transcending triviality and transience to the eternal weighty matters of God, His Word, and the change he is bringing in all of us. Now, more than ever, I am sensitive to this reality, and ironically, it took the conversation with a five-year-old for me to appreciate it.


Blogger Jimmy said...

This is, unfortunately, true in my experience as well. And it's also my fault. I'd like to start giving people honest answers when they ask how I'm doing... maybe "A little discouraged" or "I'm feeling spiritually weak right now" or "Listen to all the places I saw the hand of God today!" Here's where I'm growing, here's where I'm failing.

Not only do I want to be "More than fine / More than bent on getting by," but to share this with others, and to say something more than "Fine."

Thanks for the insight. Maybe I need to make pals with a five-year-old...

8/21/2005 09:20:00 PM


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