shovel in sand

I stuck my feet in the sand and she buried them deeper…again.  How many more ways to pass the time could we come up with in the sand volleyball court while waiting for brother’s baseball game to end?

I watched the leaves rustle and the tree limbs sway against the wind.  Children were playing all around me.  Not a parent to be seen (except for me).  Only in Rhineland, MO.   Kids playing free.  I felt safe and content and happy.  But something was bothering me and it wasn’t the sand in my hair.

I thought again about the article I had read that morning.  An article about a Christian foundation who interviewed atheists, college nonbelievers, about how and why they left the faith.  Surprising themes emerged. One of the main themes was that there is a lack of clarity about the connection between Jesus and a person’s life.

One of the interviewed, Stephanie, seemed to have understood that the church does not exist simply to address social problems, but to proclaim the teachings of Jesus Christ and their relevance to the world. Since Stephanie did not see that connection, she saw little need to stay.

Jesus…not having relevance to the world? Young people not seeing their elders or peers impacted by what they believe.

I thought about this article as my girl buried my feet in the sand.  I wondered…do we Christians have our heads buried in the sand?  Are we a little too comfy with the status quo?

Why are young American Christians dropping like flies?   Turning to atheism BECAUSE of the church.  Or is it the family’s fault?  Both?

Or is it none of these things and really a generation of many young people who simply don’t want to submit to the Lord?

Lately I’ve heard it said that churches shouldn’t claim to be radical because Christianity IS radical.  A “radical” church shouldn’t be unique. If you are Christian you should be already radically different than the world / culture / unbelievers around you.  Hmmm…

I was still thinking of this when Ruthie asked me if I love Jesus.

I said yes.  I wondered, then, how could I help her to see how Jesus has really impacted my life.  Of course I’d wondered this before but this time I felt desperate to make sure I didn’t pass up an opportunity.  I told her my testimony.  In as simple terms as I could.  I told her the before and after story.  The little girl nearby smiled as she listened.  Her face seemed refreshed to hear such a thing.  I wondered if she had ever heard about how someone’s life had been changed by Jesus.

The experts say that we parents need to model the truth, not just proclaim it.  If so much of the truth impacting me happens in my mind and heart first, how do I model that?

I’m thinking today about how this can be done more intentionally in my life.  Below are things I’ve done and wish I’d do much more often and consistently. I’d love to hear how you are doing this in your own life.

During our family devotion time, share what God is doing or has done in my life.

In difficult situations, praying out loud instead of internally in front of my children and others.

Ask my children for prayer in areas that I feel God is working on me.

Praising God throughout the day…out loud.

Praying for boldness and awareness in how to include my family in my spiritual life.

Praying for boldness and awareness in how to share my spiritual life with those around me.

I want more of this. Not burying…but digging to expose the past, the current and the future…and how Jesus is impacting and has impacted it all. 

Digging to expose life…the abundant life I have in Christ which is the turning to him and dependence on Him in everything.

God working in my life affirms me in my faith.   How much more does it affirm others?

What are the people in my life missing out on when I don’t think to share?

I am truly interested in how you are doing that in your life…please share!

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