Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Personal Jesus

     All children are curious about life, death, heaven and hell. Ian is no different. Several years ago he began to learn about the Holy Ghost. He learned that this particular Spirit can be found in reverent places. Like church. And like most children, he wanted contact. He took it upon himself to find this elusive being, without telling anyone where he was going. After searching the neighborhood for nearly an hour, my husband and children, along with several neighbors, were feeling a bit frazzled. I can't remember who finally found Ian, but I do remember his explanation for disappearing.
     "Ian, what were you doing at the church?"
     "I was looking for the Holy Ghost."
     He continued his unsupervised quest for another year, causing much worry and stress to his family.
     Along with his knowledge of Godliness, he also developed a knowledge of...things not so holy. He learned that just as sure as there was Jesus, there was also a supreme bad guy, aka Satan. Zackary, in a valiant effort to encourage good behavior from his younger brother, would often ask Ian, "Who's team are you on? Jesus' or Satan's?"
     I am happy to report, that with maturity and a few more primary lessons, Ian is now on Jesus' team. He doesn't want to "get arrested, like Satan" or "live down in the sewer." Not sure where the latter came from. It wasn't from me.
     Lately, Ian's new religious fixation is on the second coming of Christ.
     "When all the people are dead, will Jesus come down?"
     "Is Jesus coming to kill the bad guys?"
     "Will I come back to life like Jesus?"
     It's very difficult to explain the finer points of doctrine to a child. It was easier when he just wanted to find the Holy Ghost.
     Last Friday Scott noticed a burned out lightbulb in the family room. He unscrewed it while Ian's eyes followed every movement. The little guy spoke.
     "Jesus is in the lightbulbs."
     Tawni, Scott, and I intstantly looked at him, eyes wide, hands covering the grins on our faces. Tawni asked, "Is He in all the lightbulbs?"
     Scott, mature enough to sense a teaching moment said, "He's the light, isn't He?"
     I was very proud of my little boy. While incredibly humorous, this was evidence that he listens in church. Speaking of which, last Sunday his new primary teachers found me in the hall.
     "Are you Ian's mom?"
     "I am."
     "I'm Brother Fairbanks, his teacher."
     "I'm so sorry," I replied.
     He chuckled and asked, "Is Ian ADHD?"
     I am very grateful to the brave men and women who volunteer their time, talents, and sanity to teach my child. Thank you! There's a mansion of valium waiting for you in heaven.
     Arround the dinner table last night, I announced to my family that we were going to start having family home evenings every week. And that we would take turns with the lessons. These efforts have been hit or miss in the past and Beka let us know how unacceptable this was.
     "I'm the only one in seminary that doesn't have anything to share about family night. It's embarrassing."
     So, to kick off this tremendous achievement, we all went to Frogurt to celebrate. On the way, we listened to the radio. A Depeche Mode song came on and when it ended the D.J. announced, "Personal Jesus, Depeche Mode."
     From the back of the car, Ian screamed the perfect punctuation to our evening.
     "Yeah, Jesus!"