Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Early-Bird Conundrum

We send men and women into war with full body armor and automatic weapons. But we send them into parenthood with nothing but some cheesy book about how to change diapers (you mean a garden hose isn’t involved?). If you have kids you already know how difficult parenting is. And not the least of these challenges is the safety of the child. With God’s help you do your best to nurse them when they are sick, to know who they buddy up with, and to teach them to look both ways before skateboarding across the interstate. But one peril you’ve probably overlooked is what I call the Early-Bird Conundrum.

The chain of events needed for this rare, but possibly deadly happening, goes as follows:
1) Live within walking distance of the church you attend
2) Have an event on a Sunday morning that requires you to miss church
3) Inform your child that he must still attend Sunday school and church
4) Have this event fall on the day that Daylight Savings Time ends
5) Forget to set your clocks back (remember – Spring forward, Fall back)

What happens next is the kid gets up, showers, gets dressed in mismatched clothing, eats something he isn’t supposed to, and walks to church in time to be 5 minutes late for Sunday school. But when he gets to church there isn’t a soul in site. He looks at his watch, looks up at the sky, looks at his reflection in the glass door... and realizes he’s the sole survivor on Earth.

If he had gone to the store or a boy-scout meeting he might think everybody just stayed home that morning. But this is CHURCH. There’s only one thing that would keep the Sunday morning faithful from church….the RAPTURE! And he’s missed it!

Kids are resilient. They’re built to take a lot and keep on kicking. But the fear of missing the rapture – well that’s something the DNA just isn’t programmed for. The legs turn to Jell-O. Vital organs start to shut down. Death is surely imminent. But then, just when he thinks all is lost, a car turns into the driveway and parks near the door. “I see you forgot to set your clock back too…”

And color begins to return to the kid’s face.

You may not even believe in the rapture. Some people don’t. But kids believe what they’re taught by their parents to believe (at least until they get smarter than their parents – usually around 12). And when you’re sitting on the church steps staring into eternity it really doesn’t matter what you believe. It’s already too late!

Don’t ask me how I know this.

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