Our oldest son, Elijah, is 5 years old, and like most young children, he enjoys pretend play and dressing up as super heroes, robots, pirates, ninjas, and any other silly characters he comes up with. He has a pretty great imagination, and one item can spark a huge story in his world.
I would venture to guess that rarely a day goes by when he isn’t wearing something goofy or quirky, even if it’s just a pair of sunglasses or a bracelet he’s made out of pipe cleaners (he’s also very crafty). This includes Sundays and, often, Sunday mornings. He knows he can’t wear his really crazy stuff in to church, but there have been several Sundays when I’ll glance back at him while we’re riding, only to find he’s added something to his ensemble, if only for the car ride.
One Sunday this spring when I looked back at him, I saw this:
I have no idea where he found the snorkel mask. I think it was in a stash of summer water toys in our laundry room, but he had to have brought it out to the car with him and then put it on later as we were driving along (Kids can be so quick and sneaky!). He wasn’t really doing much, except for watching the countryside scenery pass by. He smiled at me as though it were the most normal thing in the world for him to be wearing a snorkel mask…in the car… on the way to church. I guess for him, it is. Haha.
I love my big boy, and I love that he is still so happy just being a child. So, I grinned at him and snapped a picture of this latest silliness.
Our route to church is mainly back roads in central Ohio, so we’re generally surrounded by farmland with fields of corn, soybeans, wheat, or cattle, and a few minutes down the road, we came alongside a field that had been freshly fertilized. Oh, the smell! There isn’t much you can do in those moments except keep driving through, so that’s what we did, with a little “Peee-ewwwing!”
From the backseat, we heard Elijah say, “It’s a good a thing I have on a mask.”
Even though he was being silly (I think), he did have a good point.
God has given us armor, according to Ephesians 6: 10-18, and most of us know that. We like to talk about all the pieces and what they represent. But that armor is only useful to us when we have it on, and have it on BEFORE a battle begins.
Trying to put on the snorkel mask after we’d enter the stinky section of the trip would not have helped Elijah at all (not sure that it truly helped him having it on beforehand, really, but we’ll assume it did to help me make my point). And yet, so many of us seek God only when we’re in the midst of trouble and try to build our spiritual strength suddenly with some extra Bible cramming and prayer time, throwing in some fasting when we’re really in earnest.
That’s not the time to do it. The Bible tells us to “take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Eph. 6:13 NKJV) In the Good News Translation, it reads like this: “So put on God’s armor now! Then when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy’s attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground.”
We have God’s Word and God’s Spirit to help PREPARE us to fight, to stand. We are to be seeking God always, daily putting on the armor He’s given to us, even when our life seems to be peaceful and happy.
You never know when you’ll have to face a battle or when the enemy will attack. Trouble doesn’t wait for you to get your armor on.
Just ask Elijah – you want to have your snorkel mask on BEFORE you come alongside that fertilized field.
11 CommentsLeave a comment
Aww–love the story and the lesson gleaned, too! Sometimes those kids are really on to something…
Thanks, Rachel! Yes, sometimes my little guys seem to see life so clearly. I guess viewing things through the lens of a snorkel mask helps with more than just stinky smells. 🙂
This cracked me up! I’ve added your blog to Feedly so I can follow along with you this month.
So happy to have you along for this adventure! I’m fairly certain you can expect a few more laughs along the way. 🙂
Love your story! I was a principal and I can’t tell you the number of times that students came to school with unusual clothes or equipment!!!
Thanks, Cathy! I can only imagine what Elijah would wear to school if he had complete creative freedom. Haha.
Elijah is funny!
Such a cute story & I love the way you tied it into being prepared with God’s armor.
Little kids have the most inspiring view on life.
Thanks, Teresa! It’s remarkable how many times my children will say something, and God will just kind of drop the lesson into my heart. It’s like He nods in agreement with what they’ve just said and tells me to pay attention! Haha. 🙂
This is hilarious! I read this post with my husband and we both got a good laugh out of the photo. I think it’s because we understand very much so the “quick and sneaky” nature of kids (we have an almost 2-year-old). Haha. Thanks for sharing. I’ll be reading along!
Thank you, Ruth. Just wait until your little one really gets going in the next year. Haha. Perhaps reading this series will give you a glimpse into the future: the good, the bad, the ugly, and the hysterical. 🙂 Oh, and the very, very good. There are those moments, too.