When I was in college, I did Young Life ministry to high school kids. We "leaders" spent a lot of time talking about that verse that says to be ready to preach the Word "in season and out of season.” (II Timothy 4:2) For us eager evangelistic college kids, this meant that - who knows? ANY RANDOM MOMENT someone might pop out of a dorm room and say, “You seem like a Christian. Can you tell me how to get to heaven?”
And we needed to have an answer, right then. In season and out of season.
Now, looking back, as an older, wiser, more wrinkled, less stylish, infinitely more exhausted mother of three children, I have a slightly different read on that verse, and the whole “being ready in all seasons” concept.
I don’t know if you’re like me, but Before I Became A Mother, I pictured myself cuddled on the couch with my well-dressed, well-behaved cherubs, and I’d teach them all for hours and hours about Jesus, them nodding and smiling at all the appropriate moments.
Guys, I’m seven years into this gig, and that perfect moment has still not arrived. No. For me, teaching little ones about God is more like this.
You’re driving in the car, and one of them is having a meltdown because HE WANTED TO BUCKLE HIMSELF. And the other one says (over the wailing), “Mom? Does heaven have light bulbs?” And you have to use all of your Adult Powers to ignore the tantrum coming from the other side of the vehicle, and then try to explain what you (sort of) know about heaven, taking care to interject all the wonderful things about it and how we can get there because of Jesus. And after your speech (which didn’t turn out all that bad, now that you think about it), your little questioner says, “Oh…Well, what’s for dinner?”
And you just pray that somehow, it makes a dent.
Because - I will say it again - there is just not going to be a Perfect Moment to teach your children about Jesus.
Instead, we are given lots of little snippets, at precious, unexpected moments in the days, and we have to snatch them - whether we are thirsty, hormonal, tense, or have a horrible headache at that moment.
I know, it’s hard.
But just realizing that there is no “perfect moment” - this has helped me greatly.
I must say it twenty times in my head, each day. We will be in the middle of some Chaotic Event, and I'll have this little Holy Spirit Nudge - Teach them that Bible story. Ask them that question. Write that letter together to your Compassion child. Pray for that lost stuffed animal.
And I know with my whole being - THIS IS MY CHANCE. These babies, they are only little once, and the precious window where they love my stories, and ask me their questions - it is devastatingly brief (oh, how I have learned this Hard Lesson.) I have learned much about teaching little children to pray - and what a blessed thing we can do!
Yes, This is my moment.
Mamas, do not let that devil deceive you. Now is the moment; today is the chance. When you hear the Lord's voice, grasp at it! The work is hard, but the rewards are great.