Child-Like Faith

I’ve written before about family prayer time at the end of the day. Often, with Gail tending to Kayla, it turns out to be the 3 Imoo boys as I try and settle them for bed. Depending on the day we just had, this can take anywhere between 5 minutes and 5 hours.

Last night had the potential to get ugly, as Jacob fell asleep at the 6:30pm Mass (at around 6:45pm) and miraculously woke up as I was carrying him to the van (just after 8pm). So instead of being asleep for the night, I counted it as a 90 minute nap. Thus, I had no idea what time he would actually fall asleep for good.

So there we were last night, doing our night time prayers. Sean went first this time, and offered up this gem:

“Thank you Lord for the wonderful day. Please bless Jacob and help him not to be such a goof, falling asleep during Your time in Your beautiful house of worship.”

I guess Jake didn’t appreciate being prayed for in this fashion, as he quickly interjected: “Stop it!”

Sean mis-heard Jake’s interruption and therefore the madness continued.

“And I pray for Jacob’s stomach (Sean had heard “stomach” instead of “stop it”) that it may grow bigger so he’s not underweight and so small.”

Honesty, I can’t recall the rest of Sean’s prayer as I was doing my best not to burst out into laughter. I do recall Jake doing a nice prayer offering up our upcoming trip to New York before I closed things off.

That’s why I love kids’ prayers. Children remind us that we can be child-like, not childish, in the way we pray. Praying is easier for children, as there is no embarrassment, no formulas, no clichés, or no religiously correct God words…they just pray whatever comes to their minds. Children tell God what they are genuinely thinking and they understand that God is listening, and that praying is very important.

My hope is that we all become more child-like in our faith, and that we aren’t afraid to offer up simple, spontaneous prayers when needed.

That way, I won’t always be the one saying grace because I’m the designated “church professional!”

Things You Don't Want to Hear

There are certain things you just don’t want to hear, especially when starting off a conversation. Now I’m not talking about the obvious ones, such as:

“I hope you’re sitting down.”

This usually indicates that you’re about to hear bad news, perhaps news about a sickness, accident, or in the worst cases, death.

“No.”

Depending on what you’re asking for, this can range from trivial (asking for another piece of cake) to tragic (asking someone to marry you).

“You’re fired.”

Self-explanatory.
What I’m talking about here are a few discussion starters, or more accurately, things someone might say to you when he (or she…but I’ll just stick to one pronoun for now on to make it easier to read) has something to say. For instance:

“Don’t take this the wrong way, but…”

I can’t recall one single instance where someone said this to me, and I DIDN’T take whatever was said the wrong way, or at least in a negative way. This type of statement puts the listener in a very uncomfortable situation, as you only get about 1 or 2 seconds to brace yourself for what’s coming. You just know that “somebody bout to get hurt real bad” when you hear this. I’d rather the speaker just say whatever he wants to say without the pre-amble. In other words, cut to the chase and let me have it!
Very similar to this is this gem:

“No offense but…”

You can truly just copy my paragraph above about “Don’t take this the wrong way, but…” and paste it here. When you hear that, you know it’s going to be something you don’t want to hear. Your knees start to feel weak and you get a funny feeling in your stomach (or is that just me…haha). And again, I can’t recall one single time where I DIDN’T take offense to what was said. Otherwise, the speaker wouldn’t have started with those 3 words, right? I’d take less offense is he just said what he had to say without the set-up!
Then there’s this one:

“If you want my honest opinion…”

This is usually yet another set-up for a crushing blow. In volleyball terms, it’s the quick back-set to the middle blocker before getting six-packed off the top of your head. There are a couple of fundamental flaws with this statement. Firstly, of course I want an honest opinion: why on earth would I want a dishonest opinion? Secondly, if this statement is unsolicited, then technically I could answer “No, I don’t want or need your opinion” but that just makes me look really really bad. But this is assuming that I even get a chance to interject. Usually the speaker will just continue on, giving me no choice but to listen.
And finally, this one from my good friend Andrea:

“We need to talk.”

Speaking from personal experience, what this really means is: “You’re going to listen. And you’re probably not going to like what you’re going to hear.”

When I hear this, I know I’m in trouble, especially when the speaker is my lovely wife Gail. Inevitably and invariably, these conversations end off with me uttering 2 words that I’m certainly not to proud to proclaim:

“I’M SORRY!”