This past weekend, we returned from a long weekend at my parents' house in Port Orchard for the annual Stolberg Family Reunion. While at Grandma and Grandpa B's, the boys camp out in their closet on pallets. (For the record, Grandma and Grandpa have a closet approaching the size of the boys' bedroom at home!) I snuck into the bedroom and overheard the following exchange.
Emet: "Cayub, where did dinosaurs go?"
Caleb: "Emet, I don't know. You'll have to ask God about that."
Emet: "Yes you do know 'bout dinosaurs!!"
Caleb: "No I don't know, Emet, but God knows EVERYTHING. He created everything, and He was never born and He never can die, and He is so big that he is EVERYWHERE at the same time! He is so tall that it would take 2 days to get to his head!......No, maybe even 16 days!"
Emet: "I would sit on His head!!" (heartily laughing, then) "Cayub, why did you take off your blanket?..." (a little window into the mental wanderings of a 2 year old)
Fast forwarding several days to yesterday, the children and I were outside, sitting at the edge of the garden. As I looked over the weed filled plot, I thought of the many life lessons one can learn from a garden. We talked about leaves and roots, how plants get their food from water, soil, and sun. We discussed weeds and how they can overtake plants, choking them out so the plant can't get any sunlight or water. We practiced pulling up weeds by only pulling the tops off of weeds, then by pulling the weed out by the roots so that it can't grow anymore.
I got out my Bible and began to read them the parable of the sewer. I explained as I went, and both boys were listening attentively. Here are the verses we read:
A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! Matthew 13:3-8
and the explanation.....
“Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
Matthew 13: 18-23
At the end of the story, I asked the boys, "So what did you learn from that story?" Caleb replied, "Nothing. I don't like Bible stories. I just like to think about money and steal other kids' toys."
So, there you have it! What a great parallel to our adult life struggles....one minute fully believing and trusting in God.....the next, completely focused on pointless, worldly pursuits that come to nothing in the end. Apparently it starts young!
As a humorous aside, during the weed pulling process, Emet, having recently received the Veggie Tale DVD Larry Boy and the Rumor Weed, excitedly ripped the top off a weed and ran over to me shouting, "Look-it!!! I found a rumor weed!" :-)