I have a good pastor friend who related a story about the 7-year-old son of one his work-out friends. It seems dad and mom are taking their parenting role seriously and trying to teach their young son in the ways of the Lord. Of course, every child has questions that Dr. W. A. Criswell would refer to as being in “the imponderables of God”.
The question: “Dad, why did God make Kiwi green?” Inquiring 7 year olds want to know. The dad thought, and came up with this gem. “Son, I don’t know, but someday when you get to heaven, you can ask God.”
The 7-year-old thought for a moment and said, “Nah, I think I’ll go google it”! Out of the mouth of babes….
So that got me thinking. Can everything be googled? Certainly the words and concepts can. But what about the action?
Can you google faith? Or is it lived out in our messy world and our messy attempts to serve God?
Can you google prayer? Or must we cry out to God with understanding even when we do not understand?
Can you google parenting? I was searching in an old file cabinet in the garage and ran across a file my wife had labeled, “Letters From Dad”. These came from my days as an itinerant evangelist. I peeked. In them were two that brought tears. One to my son and another to one of my daughters. They were for sure filled with love and encouragement. But one phrase stood out in both: “When I get home we will…”.
Those are days past and thank God for his grace and mercy. Our relationship as a family is very strong and for that I praise God. My relationship with our children is strong. But I missed some things that are precious and those days will not return.
The Lord may indeed restore years the locusts have eaten, but he will not restore the childhood of anyone’s children and give a “do-over” at parenting. You can’t “google” that! You have to live those days as they come.
Really, can you google any relationship? No. Not even Facebook, Twitter, nor email is a substitute for a warm hug, a firm handshake, a smile, a kind word, or a pat on the back.
God made us personal beings. The human need for relationship is hard-wired in each of us.
The family is at the core of this. I believe in the Church. It is the Body of Christ. But when God created the world, he took five days to create a place that would sustain and perpetuate life. Then he created the first male and female and put them in that place that would sustain and perpetuate life. They were to “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen. 1:28).
The Church does not exist to become an entity in and of itself. The Church exists to extend the mission of God and the most basic mission of God is the “church” in your home (Psalm 78:1-8; Ephesians 5:22-6:4).
And you can’t google that! And as messy as it can sometimes be, it has to be lived out in daily life and daily surrender to Jesus.