Tonight Jonathan asked if the Holy Spirit could see out of your body. You know, because if the Holy Spirit is inside of you, then can He see out?
We had talked a couple days ago about having a soft heart toward God. We were talking about the story of the Exodus and how Pharaoh hardened his heart and kept saying, "No, you can't go!" even after God took away the plagues. So I thought he might get the idea of the soft/hard heart. But when I asked him if he thought I was talking about your actual heart inside your body he said yes. So I knew he needed more concrete language. So then we talked about following Jesus and obeying him.
We talked about how sometimes when Jonathan or Leesi is upset about something, or is being disobedient I will call them to come and talk to me. I hold out my arms and beckon them to come and sit on my lap. Sometimes they come and we can talk about it and figure it out together. Other times they turn away and refuse to come to me. I think one of the most important things in following God is repeatedly coming to Him, not turning away from Him but being open and surrendered to Him... in whatever place we find ourselves. That's how I envision the soft heart... the child who doesn't turn away when called to come to the parent waiting with open arms.
So, tonight when I was putting Jonathan to bed, I asked him if he wanted to pray and tell Jesus that he wanted to follow him and obey him and become part of God's family. He said yes and then prayed, "Thank you God that we got to ride on the diesel tractor.... and I want to follow you and obey you..." It was very sweet. After he prayed he launched into questions about different scenarios with trains that I had a really hard time following.
I think that it is important that Jonathan had a soft heart toward the Holy Spirit and wanted to tell Jesus that he wanted to follow Him. But I have changed my attitude about this aspect of the spiritual life. I no longer think that becoming a Christian is about praying one certain prayer, and then you're good. You have a ticket to heaven. I am now starting to believe that faith is more of a process. Becca expressed it beautifully the other day. She said that as we go through life we say, "I give all I know of me, to all I know of God." As we grow and mature we know more of ourselves and more of God, so there is more to give, and more to experience. This is a step for Jonathan, one step on the spiritual journey of giving himself more and more to the God he knows more and more.
I still sometimes worry about my inadequacies in guiding my children in their faith. But the more I see of God's goodness the more I am able to lay down my fears about all aspects of life, even this one.