Throughout the day (especially now that we are homeschooling all three kids), I get asked a ton of questions and need to make, what feels like, thousands of 'judgement calls'.
Can I have a cookie with breakfast? Just one? Can I have a little Coca-cola? Can we watch a movie on the iPad? Where is my _____? What is for lunch? When is dinner? What's for dinner? Do I have to eat that? Can I have a piece of paper...no, a new piece...I don't want scrap paper...please? How much do I have to eat in order to get dessert? Do you mean now? Why does ______ get ______ and not me? Can we play Wii? Do I have to do math? Do you mean I have to read? Can we play Monopoly (asked five minutes before bed)? Do you have a box I can use? Where are the scissors? Do you want to help me? Can we get a chicken?
I recently read a book about prayer called A Praying Life by Paul Miller. It really challenged my viewpoint on prayer. While this analogy doesn't completely hold water...I started thinking about how free my kids feel in asking, requesting, persisting, and questioning. Miller encourages his readers that "to learn to pray is to enter the world of child, where all things are possible."
Praying is, after all, being in communication with our God. Miller notices that children "chatter on" with whatever is on their hearts...whether it is questions (as I have noticed) or a constant commentary on the world, both real and imaginary (which I experience everyday through Noah). Our children, especially Noah, hold nothing back in communication. I am starting to realize that this unconstrained freedom to express one's heart and mind is what brings delight to God. (Like I said...the analogy doesn't completely hold water...for God is infinitely patient in listening and I am...not.)