I always love the ten minutes Bianca and I share between Preschool and Daycare. It’s like Forrest Gump’s proverbial Box of Chocolates – I never know what I’m going to get.
Some days she’s jovial and talkative – a Little Miss Chatterbox telling me all about her day. “We had pretzels for snack, we read a story about a bear…”
Other days she wants to be left alone – “Can I watch my movie?” she asks from the backseat.
Other days she’s combative – insisting she learned nothing, ate nothing…”I didn’t do NUFFIN’ at school!” (It’s these days I realize her Sassy Like My Mommy pajamas are right on the money.)
Other days, like Wednesday, our time together is extremely insightful – which can be a bit overwhelming for me as a mother. It’s in these moments I realize there’s a much larger force or power governing and shaping my child’s life.
We were having a normal conversation – so normal that now I don’t even remember what we were talking about. But Bianca made a remarkable statement, so I responded the way I normally do and asked her “Bianca, how are you so smart?”
“Because God tells me to be smart,” she answered.
Wow! Out of the Mouth of Babes.
Too often in our faith, we focus on being kind, and loving, and compassionate…. and loyal, and all of those other amazingly, important things good Christians, or Muslims or Jews are taught to be. Help those less fortunate. Give to those in need. Serve the Lord (insert religious figure here.)
But too often, we forget that God wants us to be smart.
Recently conservative, Christian pastor Joel Osteen has been criticized for his teachings & sermons on wealth. Love him or Hate him – I agree with what Osteen said on a recent episode of Piers Morgan:
“There is a religious – I call it a spirit or something that says we have to be poor and broke and defeated and sad to show people that we're really humble, and that we really love God. And I don't believe that. I believe God wants us to be examples of what it means to live for him. And that our money is to be a blessing to others.” Joel Osteen
I firmly believe God wants us to be ‘smart’ about every aspect of our lives. He wants us to be smart about our finances, the way we raise our children, they way we spend our time and the way we educate ourselves.
It’s like the old medical joke about the patient who refused treatment – instead putting his faith in the Lord to cure his disease. When the man passes away and arrives in heaven he asks, “God, why didn’t you heal me?”
The Lord replies, “I gave you a wonderful hospital, great doctors and medicine…but you didn’t utilize any of it.”
(Obviously, illness and death is no laughing matter. But the message it true. Too often we wait for God to act on us when we should be paying attention to how he is acting around us.)
How much of your daily, spiritual journey is focused on being ‘smart’? Remember, God wants us to be smart just as much as he wants us to be loving and kind.