23 November 2012 ~ 1 Comment

Thanksgiving 2012 – Caleb’s Prayer

Dear Caleb,

I’m writing this to you the day after Thanksgiving.
You probably won’t remember a lot about last night.  I’ll probably forget details over the years, so here’s something for you to read years from now to hear the story, and something to help friends and family share in your journey today.

Last night, we read the story about John baptizing Jesus, which led to you asking lots of questions about baptism; what it means, why we do it, whether or not we have to do it.  And of course that you aren’t sure you want to do it, probably cause of your aversion to ever getting any water on your face.  As a dad it is so awesome to hear you ask questions and have these discussions.
Of course that led to talking about the step before baptism, which is choosing on our own to trust and follow Jesus.

Baptism and Lordship is hard enough to explain to an adult.
I’ve always been unsure how to approach my kid choosing to follow Jesus, baptism, all that stuff.  I want to be sure you can really understand it before you make those decisions.
So we talked about what it means to trust Jesus.  I asked if it was something you might want to do someday.
“Um, I could probably do that tonight, or tomorrow, or next week…pray to God.  That doesn’t sound too hard.”
So, I asked if it was something you wanted to try doing tonight.
“Well, it is past our bedtime, so maybe I should do it tomorrow.  Be sure to remind me, OK dad?”
I said that was a good idea.  Take time to think about it more and we could talk more tomorrow.
After I prayed for you and Micah before bed, you said you wanted to pray tonight.
So I invited mom to come upstairs.
We asked you what it was that you understood.  You went on to tell us that you believe in God, that Jesus is God, and that he died to take away your sins.  And that you want to trust him and follow him.

From there I asked if you wanted me to pray and you could repeat after me.
That got a sideways thumb slightly turned down. Translation: kinda OK, but kinda not.
So I asked if you wanted to pray yourself and I could help you if you got stuck or wanted.
Your thumb went slightly upward.
So you laid your head on your pillow and clasped your hands together.
Mom and I were both sitting in silence, waiting for you to start talking.
Then I look down at you with your eyes closed, quite intent, and your lips slightly moving, and I realized you were talking to God all on your own.
Then you looked up cause you were done.
I asked if you prayed to God on your own.
You pointed to your head with a big smile and said, “Yup! In here!”

It’s interesting for mom and I to process faith and all.
Truth be told, we’re not so sure there’s a whole lot different than yesterday at this time.  Really, you already have been understanding who Jesus is and believing in him.  You probably aren’t any more “spiritual” than you were before.
But there’s a significance in voicing that understanding and making a decision…even at 6 years old.

You have a long spiritual journey ahead of you.
Right now, you haven’t had much to challenge your faith.  Those times will come.  You will doubt what you’ve learned.  And that’s OK.  You will go through difficult seasons.  You will have to confront and wrestle with real issues and questions of faith.
Your faith will be strengthened at times.  You will continue to see God do things that you know can only be him.  You will see his faithfulness to your family and to you.
The good stuff, the bad stuff, these are all things that will really make your faith your own over time.  And as much as I want control over what that will look like, only God can fully participate in that journey with you.
But wherever your path takes you over the next 60 years, we’re grateful that you can always look back to Thanksgiving, 2012, as perhaps the first significant milestone in figuring out who God is, and how you become the bold leader that I believe He has called you to one day become.
While I’m not sure it greatly changes your relationship to Jesus since yesterday, it is significant in beginning to walk with Christ.
Thanks for sharing that with dad.
It’s something I’ve looked forward to since before you were born.
And I can’t wait to be a part of helping you process faith for many years to come.


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