one tiny soapbox: another smart chat with the boy...
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Thursday, January 3

another smart chat with the boy...

So, my son whips out another thought-provoking question the other day as we're riding along in the ol' bug. He asks (and I paraphrase slightly, partly for your sake and partly due to the rather swift corruption of my internal "memory files"):
Daddy, why do people celebrate others when they die?
Loaded question? Could be. I answered by explaining how that sometimes when a person dies, people like to show their appreciation for the life that person lived and the things he accomplished. But of course that wasn't enough.
But what if the person never did anything [worth celebrating]?
(Aahh...feel the brain matter begin to stretch.) "Well, son," I say, "that's a good question, and you're right by recognizing that a lot of people don't really accomplish things that might be considered "great" by others. However, sometimes the people who knew them still want to express their thankfulness for the blessing of having known them by celebrating their lives."

At this point, of course, I'm internally exulting in the thoroughness of my answer. And, of course, my exultation typically came too soon...
But daddy, that seems like worship, and only God should be worshiped.
Huh. Needless to say I had to bring my 'A' game on that one, as I certainly want to foster a strong sense of the unique right God has to be worshiped above all things, without needlessly downplaying the appropriateness of certain human celebratory traditions. Accordingly, I did my best to explain the difference between worship and the simple honor and appreciation we express for the earthly things with which He's blessed the enjoyment and wonder incited by the life of another human being.

Finally, after a bit more explanation, this seemed to satisfy him...for now. We'll see if this line of questioning ever re-surfaces. I'm sure nearly every subject unfolded for my son will need thorough "re-unfolding," once he's reached the "next level." days in single-daddy mode are certainly never boring. And what a very great privilege (and weighty responsibility) I have to guide my young son into a sound and ever-widening understanding of all the Lord's handiwork!

ibcarlos, Reformed thinker

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