Thursday, November 5, 2015

What Do You See?

Children play on the floor. Lego towers rise, near toppling. Laughter, smiles, and chatter. 

But then, suddenly tempers flare. "No, give it to me! I had it first!" 

The thief twists away clutching her prize. "It's mine." 

Both stand up to face-off. Arguing ensues, and then one pokes the other in the eye in an effort to snatch the desired object.

What do you see? Is this just silly kid stuff? Is it cute? Funny? Or do you see the deadly matter which lies at the heart of the little thief and her eye-poking playmate?  

I believe what we see in life's moment-by-moment events (such as in bickering children) is related to our understanding of the eternal. 

C. S. Lewis writes in his Screwtape Letters, "The present is the point at which time touches eternity." "There is a lifetime burning in every moment," chimes T.S. Eliott, but we have to think about this reality, become aware of it. We have to seek to understand how God sees each event.

Even as Christians, we can be blind to the ever-present eternal. We are fully capable of seeing bickering children as a necessary nuisance, and tend to respond as a legalist, "Stop it. Get along. Take turns and be nice." But if we think at this level, if this is how we deal with such situations, we will miss countless opportunities to disciple our children, we will fail to build in them an eternal perspective that is ever seeking to become all God created them for.

I've heard parents complain about their children's selfishness and lack of interest in eternal things, but often those same parents miss, take lightly, or even laugh at incident after incident which fosters their children's character in the wrong direction, away from God.

The apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:18, "We concentrate not on what is seen but on what is not seen, since things seen are temporary, but things not seen are eternal." 

Our precious children are never-dying souls that must be shaped and formed in understanding the eternal. May God give each of us perception and understanding and the wisdom to bring His perspective to our children at every opportunity.