7 is Awesome Right?

Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe. –Voltaire

 

For those of you that are new to the blog, in December I posted about the number 7 in relation to my cousin’s death and how it had been 7 years.  It was weird because I never thought about it but the number 7 seems to be all over and through my life this year. I’m both scared and excited if that’s possible. But, let me tell you what happened…

Last Sunday at church was a long one for us. We have both baptism and holy communion on the first Sunday of every month, so church tends to be about 3 hours on average. Unless the holy spirit shows up and shows out then the church service is liable to go over. Ah, but that is the great thing about church…the unpredictability when God takes over. So, I’m sitting there with munch right behind my mama and Ms. Margot ready to get my holy filled praise on.

Munch is sitting next to me smiling because he just turned 7 last Thursday and he was telling everyone. I’m 7 now. He’s over the moon right? Well, the service begins with praise and worship and then we are getting ready to do the baptism and munch turns to me and says, “Mommy, why am I not baptized?” I began to explain in a hushed tone “The baptism is only part of the process you have to accept and believe in God and Jesus. You have to promise to live to make him happy and obey him like you do me and daddy.” He whispers, “Mommy, I love God and Jesus and I want to be baptized.”

I got scared. I’m not sure why really. I think I was just overwhelmed by his declaration to want to be baptized. I mean he’s only 7. He believes in the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus and now he was absolutely sure he wanted to give his life to Christ. At 7? Is that possible? I asked him, “Are you sure?” “Yes, mommy” he replied. I was stunned.

I whispered to my mommy (I’m all kinds of wrong because service is going on) what my son said. She said, “Let him do it at the end of the month when we have Youth Sunday.” Ms. Margot overheard because you know that I can’t whisper well right? Ms. Margot replied, “No, if he wants to do it let him.” I sat back and smiled at my son.

Church continued and we welcomed the visitors and greeted the members in christian fellowship. I ran into Brennan’s godmother (our Assistant Pastor’s wife) and told her what he said. I told her that I was scared. She said, “Don’t be. It’s what you want right?” “Yeah, I replied, but it’s too soon right?” She smiled, “Not if he’s ready.” That was it. He was ready. It was his choice.

He was 7 and making the decision I didn’t think he would make until his teenage years to follow Christ. So, when the altar call came, I asked him was he sure one last time that he was ready to give his life to Christ and he said, “Yes.” I held his hand and with tears streaming down my face I walked him to the front of the church. We gave our information to the church secretary and waited until it was time to announce our decision. Munch was a candidate for baptism.

The pastor got on his knees and looked munch in the eyes and asked him some questions in which he clearly said his decision was to follow Christ and be baptized. He asked munch to repeat a prayer after him and my munch was so outspoken in his prayer. You could hear that it was his desire to live according to the will of God. I smiled and kept crying while saying, “Thank you God”. He’s 7.

It’s been seven years since my cousin died. Munch is seven years old. Munch will be baptized on the 7th of June.

Seven is awesome!

Number-7

Bad Things Will Happen

This week I read an article on Huffington Post titled “Children Exposed To Religion Have Difficulty Distinguishing Fact From Fiction, Study Finds” and was taken aback at some of the comments that I read.  It wasn’t a relatively lengthy article, but it had amassed over 757 comments in just two days.  Disclaimer:  I know I shouldn’t read the comments, but I can’t help it.  I like to know what other people think about a particular article and well I was floored.

I was floored because people were saying that they found the church stuff skeptical.  I understand not everyone subscribes to a religious view, but how can we not have faith in light of everything that we have seen or experienced in this world?  I’m not trying to convert you to Christianity or make you subscribe to my point of view, but what I am saying is that my faith is the foundation for everything I believe and I how I raise my son. The article said that of the 66 children who were between 5 and 6 (same age as my munch) who went to church or were enrolled in parochial schools were “significantly less able than secular children to identify supernatural elements, such as talking animals, as fictional.”

I’m not surprised, but I’m not offended.  In my house we serve God. That is what I am teaching my son. The end and that’s all.  That is exactly what I posted in the comment section of the article and another commentator replied to me asking “How could you teach him to believe in a God who would allow Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 to be shot down? Does God really do that? How does God allow all those children to die?” I sat there and said a prayer before I simply responded…”Was it God or Evil? Aren’t we taught that there is a balance to everything which creates the understanding of harmony? A battle between good and evil?  The fact that we believe in God and teach our children about God doesn’t absolve them of bad things happening.  Bad things will happen, but God will protect your mind and spirit while the enemy may try to destroy you.  It is simply faith.”

I went home that night and really thought about how important it is for me as a mother to teach my son about God and faith.  It is an important lesson that has to be taught, one that I have never regretted, because it is one that was taught to me by my mother.  My mother was taught by her mother and she taught her children that our God can handle it all and will never stop loving you.  We didn’t grow up with a happy life absent of trials, tribulations or death.  We just knew to never stop believing and that prayer changes things.  Faith of a mustard seed is what she said.  Belief in God was the greatest gift she gave me.

Even when life knocked me down and I ran from God believing that He didn’t love me, want me, understand or could hear me, she prayed.  People prayed.  When I hit rock bottom, I prayed and I knew at that moment that He had never abandoned me.  Nothing would make Him leave me.  So, it is easy for me to teach my son to love a God that has always protected me even in my darkest hour because it is embedded in the very fabric of everything that I believe and go through.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Prayer is not asking.  It is a longing of the soul.  It is daily admission of one’s weakness.  It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”  

There were 298 passengers and crew members that were killed on that flight and 80 of them were children. This is a horrible tragedy and we must continue to pray for the families of the victims and this nation as a whole. Longingly and truthfully because we need God now more than ever.