I have written before about different types of prayer and how I want to pray in a less regimented way and more like the child of a good father. Yesterday God showed me how.
Normally my wife and I teach the “walkers” Sunday school class at our church once a month. This class is basically a nursery for older kids. We do very little teaching and mainly make sure the kids do not get hurt, which only happens 28% of the time.
Yesterday we received a promotion, at least this is how the change was presented. We were asked to teach an older age group, the “Pre-K” kids. After extensive questioning I discovered that they could not find anyone else to teach the class.
The problem with Pre-K’s is that you actually have to try to teach them. I have grown comfortable with the organized chaos of our “walkers” class. With “pre-K’s” you have to try to get them to follow commands, in particular the commands of sitting down and being quiet.
Despite being a parent of four kids, I am not comfortable with managing a classroom of 5 year olds. The list of problems are numerous. Some kids will not stop talking no matter how many goldfish I offer them. Others hate being there at all and just sit in the corner probably eating something they found on the floor. I use the word probably because I am unwilling to admit whether or not I witnessed this act just in case any of our parents read this.
Don’t forget the endless trips to the bathroom. I have yet to meet a kid of this age who can anticipate the smallness of his own bladder. You can ask if anyone needs to go to the bathroom, but it does not matter. In a matter of seconds someone will declare a potty emergency.
There is always one kid, usually a boy, who sees me as a formidable wrestling opponenet. It makes you wonder if some parents raise their kids through the act of wrestling.
“Time to go to bed Johnny. And don’t forget to brush your teeth.”
“Did I just hear you say ‘no?’ It’s time for a smack down!’
The Prayer Request
After getting the children to sit down and be quiet, we finally reached the part of the lesson when we would take prayer requests. When we asked the kids to share with us, I cringed with anticipation of what they might say.
“My parents are getting a divorce.”
“My grandma is dying.”
“I don’t want to wet the bed anymore.”
One little girl raised her hand and offered one of the most beautiful prayer requests I have heard in a long time.
“I am thankful that when I go to the beach with my parents that I get to build sand castles.”
I rarely stop to be thankful for the goodness of God in such a simple way. I look for signs of his favor in the wrong ways. Is my life comfortable enough? How well padded is my bank account? Why am I full of fear and burdened with stress?
My mind and heart are filled with the business of life and the cares of this world. Though such cares have their place, this little girl reminded me that God delights in me and I can find his love in something as simple as the joy of building a sand castle.
Can you remember what it was like to be 5 years old? Leave a comment and share what your prayer request would be.
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