Being the caboose, what lies behind the first two terms is obvious. What lies behind the third is that I love to pick at him and call him a “Silly Goose”. Plainly, he is giving it right back to me!
His older brother is soon to be four, and is clearly destined to be a prosecutor. He may well already hold the Guinness World Record for how many times a three year old has asked “Why?” in a single day! Seriously, he can drive you crazy with his insufferable inquiries. One gets the distinct impression that he is not so much focused on hearing whatever answer you provide as he is on formulating his next question to fire at you!
Recently, his mother asked him why he asked so many questions. His immediate and forthright reply was: “Because I don’t know things; and I want to learn them!” Ever since then, we have been a little more tolerant of his relentless interrogations.
A few days ago, the Inquisitor (my nickname for him) asked my wife: “Yaya (his name for her), are you old?” Caught totally off guard, it was a moment before she could articulate a response. Not so for the Inquisitor, who peppered her with his follow-up question… “Yaya, why are you so old?!”
She came home in tears. Not because he thought she was old; but because she was laughing so hard that she cried! Now, to be sure, my wife and I have both ridden this old earth around the sun for a number of years. I will not tell you exactly how many, other than to say that we technically qualify for Social Security in the very near future. So I guess we do seem ancient to little ones who have not yet entered the first grade.
The eldest of our seven grandsons will do just that in the fall of the year. As a kindergartener, he is beyond the “plethora of questions” stage. These days, when he asked questions, he is quite serious about the matter. All of which brings me to my point…
When our family had our Easter gathering a few weeks ago, I kicked the whole affair off with a short devotion. As I did, I used the following picture to explain the meaning of Easter to our grandsons.
When my wife came home and related this conversation, she was again in tears. Only this time, it was not from laughing, but rather from crying over the genuine sincerity with which my grandson had asked her these questions. Together, we reflected on the words of Jesus when He told us (in Matthew 19:14) that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who become as little children, accepting things in simple, child-like faith.
To this assertion, He added the following admonition (in Mark 10:15, Contemporary English Version): “I promise you that you cannot get into God's kingdom, unless you accept it the way a little child does!”
Little wonder then that He also said (in Matthew 18:3, CEV): “I promise you this. If you don't change and become like a child, you (yourself) will never get into the kingdom of heaven.”
Was my wife actually there? Was she there when they crucified our Lord? Was she there when they nailed Him to a tree? No, she wasn’t. But, in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy (chapter 11, verse 6), she was there when a little child led the way and underscored for her (and then me) the significance of accepting these things in simple, childlike faith!
My strong suspicion is that the first of my seven grandsons is not far from the Kingdom of Heaven! I hope the other six will soon follow in his footsteps; and that even though they, like us, were not actually present when they crucified our Lord, they will nonetheless make their way to Calvary one day. Moreover, having been there, I hope their testimony will one day be the same as that of the hymn writer of old, who said…
Years I spent in vanity and pride,
Caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died
Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty
By God’s Word at last my sin I learned;
Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned
Now I’ve giv’n to Jesus everything,
Now I gladly own Him as my King,
Now my raptured soul can only sing
Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span
Available widely on the internet. See, for instance:
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