Sunday, March 4, 2007

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Today our seminarian preached a wonderful sermon. Her theme was from the last line of Psalm 27: "wait patiently for the Lord."

I decided to pick up on her theme in leading our children's chapel and I was curious to hear what the kids might have to say about waiting. I expected that kids especially would not put a positive spin on waiting. That they would tell me that waiting was no fun - or boring. And that I would have to really cajole them to get them to think about waiting in a positive light. However, I also expected that they would make some really interesting connections to the theme. They did not disappoint me. Not only did they not disappoint me, but one young man truly and pleasantly surprised me.

The conversation went something like this:

Me: "Do you know someone or something that is especially good at waiting?"

(Three or four kids raise their hands vigorously)

BT: "Well, what do you mean by 'waiting' exactly?"

Me: "Good question - what do you all think I mean by waiting? Can you give me examples?"

HL: "Like when you're at the hospital and you're waiting to see the doctor."

CT: "Or you're in the grocery store with your cart and you're standing in line."

IM: "Or when you're in the car in really bad traffic and you have to wait then go, wait then go."

Me: "So, is waiting a good thing or a bad thing?"

BM: "It's both good and bad."

Me: "Really? That's interesting. How is waiting a bad thing?"

NB: "Like when you get really impatient."

BT: "Or you get all frustrated."

MG: "Or you wish you were doing something else."

Me: "So, how is waiting a good thing?"

And then, out of the mouths of babes came this wonderful reply:

BM: "Waiting is a good thing because you end up with time that you didn't think you were going to have. It's especially good if you get to spend it with one or two other people. Like, let's say you're all ready to cook dinner and then you realize that you don't have some things you need. So a couple of people go to the store to get what you need and then there you are...with this extra time with someone...and you just get to have this peaceful, quiet, relaxed time...waiting."

Me: "Wow...peaceful, relaxed time - unexpected time...with someone you didn't think you'd be able to spend that kind of time. I think that's what Lent is for. Who might you spend that kind of time with...waiting?"

BM: "God - I think that is what Lent is for. Time with God."

And I thought the kids wouldn't find anything good about waiting...

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