May 21, 2017
1 Peter 1:3-12
Anthem: There is a Balm in GileadSenior Choir
We all have questions. They can be based on a life changing topic or a pointless math question that you somehow managed to get wrong on your test. Big or small, they are all questions.
As I child, I was told that asking questions was a great thing and how learning would be so much easier with them. But sometimes I would shy away from asking what I wanted to know. It is the same for a numerous amount of others.
In school, my teachers have given lectures about how asking questions didn’t make you look dumb and how beneficial they could be to the rest of the class. My friends and I saw their point of view and did agree. Still, not many people would ask questions.
This is a problem. How can we get answers to a question that was never asked? I’m not saying that Google isn’t an option, but it never will give you any real substance. To get meaningful answers and actual help, you need to ask questions. We all need to ask questions.
So generally when we ask questions we get answers. But what if the question turns out to be too hard for one person to answer? Or what if the answer varies from person to person? And how can we ask god questions when an answer is not verbal and explained to us, step by step?
This is where a guide comes in.
I’m not talking about a tour guide who shows you the most famous exhibit in a museum, or a parking guide who leads you to an open parking space at a football tournament. No, I’m talking about everyone.
We all have guided people in our life. Often not physically, but usually by helping them figure out small bits of their life journey.
Parents are a great example. Children grow up learning from their parents who are huge role models to the child. Parents set the standard and help their kids to follow it. But not everyone has two parents or simply mom and dad. Sometimes it’s mom and mom or dad and dad. Possibly even just mom, or mom and her boyfriend. This can give guidance in different and untraditional ways.
Parents are known for guiding, but even they need help. All parents were once children who asked their parents for answers. Now they try to look to god for help because they are in desperate need to find answers.
Answers to how to get permanent marker off newly painted walls, or how to put together a $1,600 swingset that did come with instructions… in Japanese.
But young kids are the ones don’t know how to turn to god for answers. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 helps with figuring out how.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
So, in school I help my classmates with confusing questions, even if I don’t have the answer. At home I instruct (well.. sometimes yell) at my brothers and attempt to give them the answers to the question: “Why should I stop playing my video game music at full blast at 11 at night!” And trust me I know the answer to that question, but I’ll stop there.
And being a guide expands past my brothers to my cousin, Emily. You might remember her from my last sermon. After more than a dozen times she has listened to the audio, she kept telling me that it helped her a little bit. She never informed me how exactly, but just that statement impacted me.
I realized that I was a guide to her in a small way and just recently I was told that she needed help with something. She needed a guide. I didn’t have any doubts about it. I knew that if she was asking for help it wasn’t a small question.
What I love about her questions is that they aren’t easy to answers. They make me think and realize that sometimes I have questions that are a challenge to answer. Guides need guides sometimes.
So the question I was asked was for help with deciding what she believed. She informed me in how she believed in god, but she didn’t know exactly how. Tough question, right?
I took a second to think and came up with a simple but rightly fitting answer. I told her, time. It just takes time. As she grows she can try new things and see what fits her.
It seems like in society these days everyone is expected to know exactly who they are. Boy or girl, christian or catholic, gay or straight. Every category has more than those two, more religions, more genders, and more sexualities. No one has everything figured out right away, let alone as a young kid.
The purpose of life is try new things and see what fits you and what makes you feel comfortable. I know I try to act older than I am and want to be known as independent, but I know that at heart I’m still a kid. We all are still kids at heart.
When I think of kids I picture a park with little bodies running around, going down slides, climbing the equipment, going back and forth on the swings and most of all, laughing. We all laugh so doesn’t that mean we are all kids?
And as kids most of all we learn. Who learned something this past week? (And, by the way, you don’t have to go to school to learn) I learned so much this week that wasn’t at school. We are all kids because we learn. We learn what we like and what we don’t like. We learn how to cook and how to knit. How to mow the lawn, how to do a dance move to embarrass your kids [look at mom & dad]. We learn how to drive a car and how to fix a car when it breaks down. We learn how to love and how to guide. But overall we learn who we are.
We laugh, we learn, and so we are kids. No matter your age you can be kids.
I was thinking, kids don’t worry right? All they like to do is play, make noise, and have fun. They don’t worry about tomorrow because they live for today.
In Matthew 6:34, it says,
So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.
Follow those words and live on like kids. Learn new things, laugh spontaneously, and be carefree. Don’t stress when it comes to asking questions, because it’s not what kids do.