Childlike Faith

A recent experience caused me to reflect on how we Christians are too slow and careful about trying something new. This was highlighted to me when Stacey and I gave our son an mp3 player for his birthday.

A few minutes after he had opened it, and before I could explain how to do things, he was already playing a game on the computer that “came from his mp3 player.” We saw that he had hooked up the device to the computer and navigated to the onboard games.

Now, we all know how smart kids are with technology. As the parent we are amazed, but still basically understands what the kid is doing. Then you have the grandparent…

The grandparent, before taking any action, wants to understand every detail about the process, what each term means, what’s going on behind the scenes, what could go wrong at each step, how to avoid all the problems that might arise, and then want to test and verify before doing the real thing. After learning all that, it would be enough for the day, and the actual doing would be put off. Then, the memory of all the complexity carries over to the next time he has an opportunity to try it.

He says,

“I don’t really have the energy for all that right now”

and puts it off again. The next time it’s

“Well I’ve probably forgotten some steps by now, so I should probably should ask my son to explain it again to be sure”.

After several cycles of this, and feeling like

“I really should be doing this by now”

he asks for another review, but this time

“I’ll write all the steps down!”

Again, the need arises to use the technology,

“now, where did I put that paper?”

With a totally different approach, my son plugged in, clicked around, found a game and played a little, stuck his favorite CD in, tried some more things, and quickly became proficient.

That’s not to say he did everything perfect. When he got stuck, he came to me with some specific questions about what he had tried. I immediately noticed that he was missing the concept of “ripping”. But I was busy and could see he was already doing most of the work, so I said “what you need to do is rip the CD, so look around for for the word ‘rip’”. A few minutes later he had finished ripping the first CD!

Shortly thereafter, he was on his way back to the computer with a whole stack of CDs! At that point I realized he’d fill the hard drive up in no time. Again, not really having much time, I just quickly mentioned, “Each CD takes about 200MB so you’ll fill up the drive if you do too much”

He said, “OK, no problem, I’ll just rip it, put it on the mp3 player, then delete if off the hard drive because I won’t need it anymore on the computer.” I replied, “Ok” while thinking in amazement how clever that was considering how little information I had actually provided him. Think about it: he did not even know what an “MB” is!

By contrast, the grandparent upon hearing the same level of information would not have acted until they understood what a megabyte is, what the “drive” does and what happens if it does get too full. They might have then asked if the file would get deleted off the player if they deleted it from the computer and how could they avoid accidentally deleting something else important, and on an on…

My son was curious, and he did want to know what things meant, but the difference was, he simply believed me when I told him, even without me presenting all the details. He tried and failed, and tried again, and it didn’t bother him one bit that the terms were unfamiliar, the actions new, and the results uncertain. All he knew is that he wanted to get music on to his mp3 player and that with dad around, he could just dive right in!

Later that night, he said, “Dad, what do you call this thing since it’s not an ‘iPod’?” HA, he did all that earlier activity without even knowing the NAME of his mp3 player!

How about you?

How can you demonstrate this kind of faith when it comes to, for example, sharing the gospel with an unsaved friend? Do you want to get all the “what if’s” resolved first? Do you go to seminars and workshops and role play? Then read some more and learn some more? Or do you just do it? Reread the beginning of this post and examine the dialog of the grandparent. Do you find yourself saying the same kinds of things when it comes to taking actions of Christian service? We should instead have a trusting, childlike attitude – one that wants to experience the benefits of a gift and just dives right in, knowing the goodness of the Father in giving the gift, knowing the nearness of the Savior – the safety net of “dad”!

2 responses to “Childlike Faith”

  1. Joan Ware says:

    – Awesome!

  2. Joan Ware says:


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