On Sunday mornings, one of my roles is “making breakfast” for our two youngest; our boys ages nine and eleven. I’d love to tell you how challenging it is, but lying is not a great idea in a faith-based column.
Let’s go full disclosure: I heat the oven to 375 or 400 degrees, drop some cinnamon rolls or biscuits (yes, canned) in there and in a few minutes, Boom! I’ve made breakfast.
This week I was thinking over something I would be teaching at church and while I wasn’t checked out, I likely was not paying close attention to the guys as they sidled up to the breakfast bar. They were finished before I knew it and placed their plates by the sink before heading upstairs to get dressed.
A million items were probably running through my mind; hopefully some of them important. But as I leaned toward the plates to insert them into the dishwasher, I stopped. I suddenly sensed the lord trying to get through to me.
The message? “Pay attention to the plates.” I got it. Those two boys are under my (and my lovely wife’s) care. I get one chance with them. My speaking schedule is about to ramp up; I’ll be in 25 cities for 27 engagements over 93 days, starting tomorrow. Forty-eight nights I’ll spend in hotel rooms—and away from the boys who handed me those two plates.
The good news is, when I am home I am home. My office is a bonus room above our garage—only steps from our bedroom and within talking distance of the boys when they are in the house (which is virtually every day because they are home-schooled). When I complete these 93 days I’ll be home virtually all summer, and when the fall speaking schedule is completed on November 16 I have another 2-3 months at home.
But what do I do with this time at home? Yesterday I built a fire in our backyard fire pit and the boys and I read from the Ralph Moody autobiography, “Man of the Family,” a sequel to his children’s classic, “Little Britches.”
Side note: If you have young boys, buy these books. They teach honor, integrity, faith, entrepreneurship and good old-fashioned boyhood. Your boys will love them.
But back to those two plates. It was as if Jesus himself were stopping me in my tracks, reminding me of what is important. I’ve thought a lot about a first century faith; how I desperately want the faith of the original apostles so I can tell others. It’s my firm belief that if we can capture that faith, we can change the world just as they did.
Their faith was simple. Today I’m afraid we’ve complicated things. We have long words like “Christology” and we have all kinds of “isms.” As in, do you believe in this kind of “ism?” That one?
These men were mostly fishermen, not grand theologians. I don’t have a gripe with theologians; that’s not the point. For if a theologian is wise enough to find the simplicity of the gospel, we must listen to him or her.
But looking at these two plates, it is imperative that the gospel I teach these boys is simple enough for them to understand. I’ve come to believe that power is often found in simplicity, not in complexity.
It was fishermen (Peter and John) who performed the first healing in the Book of Acts (Acts 3: 1-10). I want to know then, what exactly did they believe?
Not being critical here, but in all our theological arguments over what this or that verse might mean (trying to find the “deep” truths of God) are we missing the plain language?
Two plates. They both need to truly know God; through his son, Jesus. I want each of these boys to carry with them a first century faith, and a faith which mirrors those of the first apostles. I’m not going to give them extra theology—ever. I’m not going to be concerned about whether they can outwit the smartest intellectual; I’d rather they carry the faith of a fisherman.
That’s where the power is. And I want the boys who gave me those two plates to understand this, and live it out every day.
Thoughts? Hit me up at kirk(at)kirkwalden.com. And be looking out for our new web page in a few weeks, www.1stfaith.com.
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