Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Daddy Said This Day Would Come

I caught myself laughing out loud today when it dawned on me....my four-year-old has hit the "Why?" phase.  For the last few days the hairs on my neck started getting prickly whenever I heard Brennan's voice because I haven't had a moment's thought to myself.  "Mom...."  "Mom...."  And then comes, "Son, time to..."  "Why, Mom?"  "Son, please...."  "But, Mom, why?"

Dealing with a constant onslaught of his verbal stream-of-conscientiousness and his consistent opposition to my requests, zapped all the joy in parenting out of me.  That's when I heard my father's voice recounting the days that I, his first-born, hit the "How come?" phase.  Daddy said this day would come.  He said all children around four begin questioning everything--their questions begin with "Why?" and end with "But, why....?"  Although, he said I didn't go through the "Why?" phase; instead I said (constantly) "How come?"

What is at the end of "Why?"  As they ask the question and each answer begs the next question ("Why?"), we continue to dig down into our attache of answers until we reach the bottom, with the question still dangling in the air....."But....why?"  Just because there are no answers left, doesn't mean the question isn't there.

As I'm blogging I'm struck with how many examples God gives us in His word about getting to the end of human answers and looking up to see God holding His holy attache full of the final answers.  Sometimes the answers come in the form of questions themselves, for instance when He spoke to Job after Job finally stood up and said, "Hey, why did you do this to innocent-old-me, anyway?"  God aptly answers, “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?  Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know...Do you give the horse its strength or clothe its neck with a flowing mane?...Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?"  Four whole chapters (Job 38-41) are dedicated to God's answering Job rhetorically.  Job's reply is perfect, "I am unworthy--how can I reply to You?  I put my hand over my mouth."

God in His infinite sovereign wisdom has put this "Why?" phase in a child's heart, when they are tender and teachable, to teach them, and to remind us, that the end of "Why?" is "Because God."  The Children's Catechism question two asks, "What else [besides you] did God make?" Answer, "God made all things."  So whether Brennan is asking me about properties of a flower or why he must put his shoes on, the end of the "Why's?" will always be "Because God."  

God has created not only the physical things we see, or the materials and intellect with which to engineer those things, but also orchestrated all circumstances in history, present day, and future and all dynamics of relationships from communal living to work and the hierarchies therein.  "So, son, you need to put your shoes on because God has given Mommy a special job of caring for you, and if you don't wear your shoes outside, your feet are in a danger zone.  And remember what God's word says, 'Children (and he finishes the verse aloud), obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.'" 

This is God's universe, His rules, His order, His glory.  Isn't this what I want my children to have integrated into everything they think, say and do?  Isn't this what I want integrated in my hardened being in all I think, say, and do? 

Job's final reply is so appropot, Job 42:2-6:

2"I know that you can do all things;
   no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’
   Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
   things too wonderful for me to know.
 4 “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak;
   I will question you,
   and you shall answer me.’
5 My ears had heard of you
   but now my eyes have seen you.
6 Therefore I despise myself
   and repent in dust and ashes.”

Soli Deo Gloria.


1 comment: