Sunday, March 6, 2011

It's in the Bible (Part 5)

Originally, when I started following the Bible in 90 Days program with my Sunday school class, I promised myself to post every Sunday about the experience.  Then the last few weeks got crazy, and I am FAILING MISERABLY at reading the Bible in 90 Days.  So, I’d like to take this moment to apologize to myself.
Dear Leia,
I am sorry that I broke my promise to blog about reading the Bible.  I know how much you hate when people break promises, especially when the promise breaker is someone you love a lot.  Please forgive me for not living up to your expectations.  I hope we can still be friends.
Okay, now that that is out of the way, let me say this about this whole experience.  What I’ve found in trying to read the entire Bible in such short period of time is that I do NOT need to read the Bible in 90 days if I want to absorb anything.  And isn’t the point of reading spiritual texts to feel invigorated, encouraged, and more connected with a higher power?  I mean, that’s how I’ve always viewed reading the Bible, and this experience has not done that for me.  I’m not saying it isn’t possible to have meaningful dialogue with God and others through this experience--I’m just saying it isn’t working FOR ME.
In fact, it feels completely empty of the essence of God when I’m constantly checking the page number to see if I’ve read enough for the day.  Again, I’m not saying this is everyone’s experience (I want to stress this because as soon as I post this, I know someone from my Sunday school class is going to post something about how enriching an experience this has been).
So, I’m just going to say this for now--I may or may not catch up with the reading between now and the end of March (with the help of the Bible on CD), but either way, I’m going to try my best to continue posting some sort of lesson I’ve learned throughout the week each Sunday--after all, for people like me, life is truly one big illustration looking for a sermon.
So, let’s get to this week’s sermon, shall we?
I was gone for five days last week, and when I returned, I was feeling extra especially fond of my children, and instead of rushing through bedtime, hoping to get them down as soon as possible so I could sit on my ars and do nothing get cracking on my massive post-bedtime to-do list, I actually paid attention to them and enjoyed my time with them in the way I used to do when I was a good mom and not a stressed-about-selling-my-house-and-tired-of-being-an-Air-Force-wife mom.  (BTW, I highly suggest some time away from your children if you find yourself in this place--it does WONDERS.)
As Will and I finished up a chapter of Captain Underpants, he looked at my shirt and asked, “What does your shirt say?”  I was wearing this shirt:
My Daddy, My Hero

which reads, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  The fact that the words wrap around my breasts is slightly disturbing and makes for interesting conversations with male strangers who say, “I really like your shirt...I wasn’t looking at your boobs...uh, I was just trying to read...”
Anyway, when I told him what it said, he asked what that meant.  I told him it was from a Bible verse, and it means that we should treat people the way we want to be treated.  (I remember having this EXACT conversation with my mom when I was about Will’s age--and it’s a lesson I think adults somehow forget along the way.)
There are so many moments as a mom when you think you are really connecting with your child, passing on these essential life lessons, sharing everything they really need to know because you are a GREAT mom.  And then they respond to your question of “What do you think about that?” with “Mom, I have a booger.”  It’s a little bit deflating.
After talking about a few other important things--mainly whether Spiderman would beat Spidergirl in a boxing match, why Ramen noodles taste so good, who the boss of our family is, and what lightning is made of--I kissed Will goodnight, content in knowing that we could probably cover the Golden Rule another time, when he was less mucousy.
The next day, I picked up Will from school and went through the usual post-school wrap-up.  Generally, he says something like, “We did the same thing we do every day.”  But for whatever reason, he felt chatty.
The conversation went something like this:
Me: How was school today?
Will: Good.
Me: What did you do?
Will: We did our pledge and then our worksheets and then our snack and then P. E., and I was the door holder all day because Daniel has been gone for ages and it’s his job, so I’m the substitute.
Me: Oh, wow.  That sounds like a fun job.  Do you like being door holder?
Will: I like all jobs but line leader is the best.  And I was not finished telling you.
Me: You weren’t finished telling me what?
Will: What I did today.
Me: Oh.
Will: And we came back and sat on the carpet for our Bible story.
Me: Oh, tell me about that.
Will: I’m going to, but you keep interrupting me.
Me: Sorry.  What was your Bible story?
Will: It was about a hurt man and the people who wouldn’t help him.  And then there was one good man who did help him even though he was from a different place that didn’t like the place where the hurt man lived.
Me: Oh, I think I know that story.  Was it called the Good Samaritan?
Will: Mom!
Me: What?
Will: I am the one telling the story. 
Me: Sorry.
Will: It was called the Good Samaritan.  Jesus was telling this story to some people.  That’s called a parable.  And there was a priest, and he looked at the hurt man and kept walking.  Then there was a man who was called a Levite, and he didn’t stop to help the hurt man.  Then the man from Samaria was riding by on a donkey and picked the man up and put him on his donkey.  He took him to a hotel and paid the hotel man money to take care of the hurt man because he had to go back to keep going on his journey.  And he left enough money to take care of everything the hurt man needed.  And that’s the end of the story.
Me: Wow, that sounds really nice.  So, the Good Samaritan was really nice to someone he didn’t even know?  What do you think Jesus was trying to teach us with that story?
Will (pausing and tapping his cheek with one finger): I think he was saying the same thing as what your red shirt says.
So, he got it.  Even with the booger, he got it.
I wrote this post a couple of days ago, and literally moments before I started to post it, my friend, Carol, posted THIS LINK on Facebook.  I don’t believe in coincidence.  Happy Sunday, y’all!


  1. For myself, I like to read just a few verses of the Bible, or maybe a chapter, and pray about what I have read. This makes it meaningful to me. And if I don't understand what it means I ask God to help me.

    It is wonderful how your son did hear what you were trying to teach him and then related it to the story at school.

  2. Thanks for the link to that article. I needed to read something inspirational today. :)

  3. btw...when I re-read the last post I realized that it sounded like I only liked the link and discounted your blog posting. Just want to come back and say I liked it just as always. I'm a nerd. :)

  4. Thanks, Belle! That's how I like to read the Bible, too--think I'll go back to doing it that way. =)

    @Misti, you crack me up!