06 January 2009

Nike, Dobson, and One-Year-Old Boys

Recently, local pastor (and frequent favorite guest at Mars Hill) Ed Dobson was featured on Good Morning America. I tried to embed the video here, but I guess a link will have to do. So if you want to watch the video and read the accompanying article, here ya go!

My first thought was, "I want to read that book!"

My second thought was, "Holy crap, I don't think I could do that!"

As I listened to the interview and read the article, it struck me how difficult it would be. Keeping kosher would be extremely difficult, the traditional beard would be a nuisance. The fasts, feasts and holidays would be hard for me to keep track of.

The hardest part, though, would be what every Christian finds difficult, if not much of the time, then honestly at least a good part of the time: Living up to the loving standard that Jesus set in his teachings.

I wondered again if I could do it, and voiced my apprehension to my wife.

"Do you think Elijah could do it?" She asked.

Do I wonder if my soon-to-be one year old son could obey Torah as Jesus did?

"Do you think he even thinks about it?" she continued.

"I mean, look at him. What has he done this year? He's learned to feed himself. He's learned to crawl, and to pull himself up on things. He's learned to walk. He's figuring out how to make sounds with his mouth. He has learned where we keep all his toys. He's learned no. He's learned that we take care of him, that he comes to us when he needs something."

"That's a lot to learn."

I nodded, and she continued. "Do you think he's stopped to consider whether he can do those things, or should do those things? He just does them."

She's right, of course.

Eli doesn't stop to consider how difficult it will be to learn to walk. He doesn't wonder how long it might take before he figures out how to feed himself.

He knows that if he slides off the couch on his belly, feet first, that the floor will be there. Ditto for our bed, which stands even with his forehead. He doesn't stop to wonder if this will hurt or not. He knows that the floor is down there, and if he slides on his belly and puts his feet over the edge first, he'll find the floor.

He doesn't stop to consider if he is able or not. He takes Nike's advice, and just does it.

He doesn't stop to think about how difficult something might be, he just does it.

In Matthew, Jesus says that the Kingdom of God belongs to children.

I wonder if this "Nike" attitude is why?



Beautiful Intellectual said...

That's such a great picture...it makes me kinda sad that I don't have that certainty very often with God...maybe we could all do with a dose of childish simplicity and trust

-Tim said...

Once again, an entirely insightful post. Agreeing with the B.I. above. We all need our inner child's sense of belief and faith.

Hope you have a great 2009, friend.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Amen, Wingnut. Very nice point. We need to learn to DO IT, not just "believe it". Part of problem for us adults is we have so much to unlearn. Of course children by and by have to make the faith their own, but I would think it would be so helpful if they'd learn to trust at an early age and keep on trusting. I wish I would have been better for Tiffany over the years than I was. Too much anxiety in my past.

Wonderful video of Ed. I love him. Kind of know him, as we were members of Calvary when we lived on that side of the city. But I love Rob Bell, as well, though hardly am acquainted with him. Wish he'd still come to chapel where I work at RBC Ministries; he used to come once a year.

But cute and good thoughts on your son!

Mason said...

I got a chance to hear Ed for the first time a couple weeks ago at Mars (which I’ve been attending for the last few months), and really enjoyed his speaking. Ended up seeing his GMA interview as well since it was taped for me, and thought he probably made a lot of people who were watching rethink how devoted Christ followers feel about certain issues.

I agree with you that living that way would be incredibly difficult, though like Ed said it’s not that he thinks everyone should, he just wanted to try it. The food would be tough (guessing my ham and cheese sandwich for lunch today would definitely not be ok) but the radical devotion to giving to others and serving those around you, I desire to live like that, but I don’t know how well I would do if I took it as far as he did, I think not nearly as well as I’d want to.

Madeline said...

The amazing thing about children and faith is the fact that the "world" hasn't gotten in the way. They believe utterly without question and doubt. One of my earliest memories I have is talking to my mom about loving everyone, even, especially, criminals and those in jail. I remember her looking at me in disbelief and asking me why. My response was...because Jesus does.

The love that Jesus had/has and wants us to show the world is that unconditional love. The love is for everyone regardless of their past. It's forgiveness. The "world" shapes us to doubt, to believe in stereotypes, and in some cases to believe that God is no longer as amazingly powerful as that first day when he created light from NOTHING.

Jesus said, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." Matt. 18:1-6

As much as we teach children the ideals and morals we want them to carry with them into adulthood. They teach us and remind us of our innocence and faith.