That’s what a kid said to me on Easter Sunday. It may not seem like much to most of you, so let me paint you a picture. This kid isn’t parented often or well. He’s plenty older than my daughter who is 7. When I asked him why I was obligated to give him 18 bucks, he replied by saying, “Because you have money.” Needless to say but I’m going to write anyway, I was equally taken back by the request as well as the audacity of the request itself. You guessed it people. This was a ‘bratty kid’ if there ever was one…
I took only a couple seconds to probe a bit further and asked this young man what made Easter a time for forking over 18 clams. He informed me it was a holiday and people like me were supposed to give money to kids.
I asked him what the significance of the holiday was. He pointed out that ‘a guy died’ and we were celebrating it.
I asked him who this person was and what impact, if any, He had on our history. The young man had no idea, but informed me there was a video game he wanted to buy and he actually did need the $18 from his prior request.
I was quite willing to tell this kid to kiss me between the back pockets and quit hogging up all the good air in the room, but then I had a change of heart. Instead I challenged him. I told him he was welcome to go ask anyone around, google it, or whatever he chose in order to find out why we were celebrating Easter and I’d give him the 18 smackers… I didn’t set the kid up to fail either by the way, as there were many people present he could have asked. I figured if $18 was all it cost me to inspire a young man to seek information himself about Christ, it’d be the best $18 I ever spent. All I was really looking for was the knowledge that Jesus died and then came to life. Should he roll up with some of the basics, I planned on baiting him a bit by asking him if anyone else he knew of in history ever died, rose three days later, and walked the Earth before heading to Heaven. That was the impromptu plan anyway.
The result? He walked off muttering that it sounded like too much work for the $18.
Not only was I perturbed, but I was really disappointed. We’d had a glorious Easter day thus far. An outdoor sunrise service with beautiful weather, breakfast at my folk’s church, a full Easter service, and then fresh smoked lamb and ham for lunch. I even worked in a nap. Sounds pretty good right? I thought about that young man, his entitled ideas, his selfishness, and his laziness.
Some hours later on the way home the kids were dazing off so I shared the story with my wife. She was as impressed as I. I looked at her and all of a sudden she hollered into the back seat waking the kids with the following dialogue:
Mommy: What day is today?
Daughter: It’s Easter.
Mommy: What is special about Easter?
Daughter: It’s about Jesus.
Mommy: What did he do on Easter?
Daughter: He had died but came back to life. That’s why we celebrate.
Wifey seemed pretty content with her quiz questions and I thought she was done, but then tossed in something just to make sure our daughter knew the subject matter:
Mommy: Why did Jesus die?
Daughter: Jesus died on a cross for our sins so we could live.
I’m not ashamed to say it folks. I was able to keep the tears back, but the mist was in the air. My wife settled back into her seat and said, “Whew… I guess we’re not total failures as parents after all,” and proceeded to give me a fist bump. We both giggled a bit and one of us made a remark about there being one item crossed off the list with another 999 to go. Ha!
What we do matters folks. How we hold ourselves while in both light and darkness are examples to our kids on how to live and behave. Our associations matter as well. Having conversations about scripture and participating in church activities based on sound doctrine make the difference. I was so humbled and re-energized when I listened to the answers and responses from my daughter, I find it hard to describe.
Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Be salt and light my friends…