Learning From A Child

As many of you may know there was a small, insignificant football game played this past weekend. Well, at least it was insignificant from the Georgia fans perspective. Of course, had the roles been reversed it would be the Florida fans opining as to how many other important things there were in their life and how much they have placed football on the back burners of their lives. I must say that while I was unable to watch no more than 5 minutes of the game I was not at all surprised by the outcome of the game – it has to do with coaching and I will simply leave it at that – however, I was surprised by one person’s reaction to the game.


Saturday night as our Fall Festival at the church was winding down my six year old son came up to me with a very sober look on his face and said, “Dad, Georgia lost.” He seemed very serious about it but because I was fairly busy I didn’t give it much thought at the time. Once again on Sunday morning as we were headed to church he looked over at me and said, “I can’t believe Georgia lost.” We talked about the game for a few minutes – he had watched more of it than I did – and I put the thought behind me. Then yesterday afternoon as our family went about our normal Sunday afternoon routines I heard the Playstation on in the boy’s room. As the announcer gave the score I realized that my six year old was in the room playing Georgia against Florida and this time he was getting it right. I don’t know what the final score ended up being on the Playstation but at the point in which I overheard the game Georgia was up 21-0. Given his proclivity for running up the score I am quite sure that the final score was much worse as my son rectified the problem of the previous day.

A friend of ours told me that she was the one who had to break the news to Landon on Saturday. He had come up to her very excited and told her that Georgia had won. Knowing from her husband – who had snuck off to watch the game while the Fall Festival was going on – that this was not the case she had told him that Florida had won. Maybe this was why he took it so seriously. Maybe after having thought they won and realizing that they really had not it struck him as being serious, whatever the reason he seemed to take this loss fairly seriously. As I thought about this I was struck by a few things.

My son’s realization that Georgia had lost motivated him to do something – namely, use the Playstation to change the outcome. Our lives are not like the Playstation where we can manipulate things to ensure that our favorite teams win championships but too often we sit idly by and refuse to act when we can.  As a child of God I can spend so much of my time focusing on mistakes I have made and bad decisions that have left me wondering about the future. At other times I simply ignore those things and pretend as if they never happened. I do this when I have something infinitely better than a Playstation with which I can seek to change the outcome of events – I have a relationship with my Heavenly Father the Creator of the Universe, Savior of my soul, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The problem lies in my unwillingness to acknowledge the fact that I have made a mistake. I fear that too often as Christians our pride controls us as we refuse to publicly acknowledge our wrongs.

If we’ve made a mistake in sharing the Gospel with someone by being mean-spirited,  well we can just write it off for certainly the person needs Jesus and we can walk away comforted in our own self righteousness.

If we’ve been unkind to our spouse we can justify it by reminding ourselves of all they have ever done against us and compare ourselves to how others treat their spouses.

If we’ve used a Biblical doctrine to drive a wedge between us and others who are in Christ we can simply accuse them of being simple minded people who reject the truth of God – and our wisdom.

May we throw ourselves upon the mercy of God who is accessible to us because of Jesus Christ! Christ is our High Priest who sits at the right hand of God the Father interceding on our behalf. As children of the Most High God we can not sit by and make excuses for our behavior, or worse yet, refuse to acknowledge that such behavior is wrong when we have access to the throne of God. Place yourself before Him not because of your worthiness or even because of your need but because of the sacrifice that Jesus Christ has made on our behalf. Call out to Him. Seek His face. Learn His Word. Apply our lives to serving Him and we will see the cares and worries of the world flee away.

Since yesterday afternoons bout of therapy on the Playstation my son has not mentioned the Georgia-Florida game again. Yes, he knows they lost but in his mind and life they also won. You may argue that our lives are not so easy to manipulate and while you can argue your point with great effort I will simply leave you with a few verses to think upon.

Revelation 5

1And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. 2And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? 3And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. 4And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. 5And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. 6And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. 7And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. 8And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. 9And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. 11And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; 12Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. 13And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. 14And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

Published by Daniel M Harding

Husband, father, associate pastor.

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