State the Obvious

One of my five-year-old’s favorite things to do is tell me what I already know:

“Mommy is older, but Daddy is bigger.”

“There are two boys in the family and two girls.”

If I was sarcastic, I might remark, “Really? I hadn’t noticed.”

But I realize what is really at work here. My little girl is learning to process. Her reasoning skills are revved like an engine in full throttle. She’s amazing herself with comparison, logic, and opposites. She can’t help but speak out all the calculations her brain is making.

As adults we are amused by the simplicity of children. We put up with it, but if we’re honest, it can be tiring. Not only do they state the obvious, they question and question and questions and…you get the point. And the questions of a five-year-old don’t lead to eye-opening philosophical discussions. As adults we may introduce philosophical concepts by nature of the question (How old is God?), but such dialogue will not be reciprocated. The questions of little children are repetitive, and they will not accept that you answered the same question ten minutes ago. They need to hear again that they will not get a shot at the doctor, or that Daddy’s day off is not tomorrow but the next day.

Current favorite questions in our house include:

“How many days until we go to Colorado?” and “Can I get my haircut?”

And my two-year-old’s favorite, which applies in all situations, “Me, mom?”

What are our children trying to teach us? What does Jesus mean when he says, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:14-15).

“Like a little child” – inquisitive, stating the obvious, being repetitive and creative, honestly asking for gifts.

Is my mind working over the things of God so that my mouth cannot help but state the obvious? When our hearts meditate on the elemental aspects of faith, those obvious truths percolate and brew new understanding. Truths such as,

Lamentations 3:22-23: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Romans 10:9: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Ephesians 1:3: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Oftentimes it’s the obvious that we need to focus on. It’s old hat, you say! Been there, done that. Aren’t we supposed to graduate from milk to meat? I still drink milk. Milk is still healthy. It’s just not sufficient on its own. That’s faith. We add to our diet, we don’t abandon the foundation.

Back to basics is not just a Christina Aguilera album or a catch phrase for returning to simpler living. The basics is where faith simmers, like soup garners flavor by  stewing a few hours on the stove.

What’s simmering in your heart today?

Might you just state the obvious today?

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