Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What is Real?

Hunter has been having an interesting struggle determining what defines real and unreal. To an almost-four-year-old, I'm sure it's not exactly the easiest thing to define.

A few months ago we had a discussion on the "realness" of Jesus. It wasn't that I was concerned that I was raising a three-year-old atheist, because, after all, in this same discussion we were also discussing the "realness" of George Washington and George W. Bush.

But even after the topic has come up numerous times, he still seems to be struggling with it.

Yesterday, on the walk home from the library we were having a lot of interesting discussions. At one point we were discussing what God wants us to do and he said to me in a very matter-of-fact way, "But Mom, God's not real."

It's somewhat difficult to answer the same question over and over again, especially when it is one of utmost importance. How can he think that God's not real?

I told him that of course God is real, if God is not real than where did everything come from? I asked him if he could make one single grain of dirt and of course, the answer was no, he can't.
"Can you say, 'Let there be a cat!' and make a cat out of nothing? How about an egg? Can you make an egg? Can you make a baby, or a tree, or a rock? We can't make anything, because we're just people. Only God can make things, and he made everything."

I continued, "Just because we can't see him with our eyes, it doesn't mean he doesn't exist. Here, cover your eyes. You can't see me right now, but that doesn't mean I'm not here. How about I cover my eyes. Just because I can't see you, it doesn't mean you don't exist. God is not made out of bones or flesh or dirt or wood or anything like that - he made those things, but that's not what he's made out of. God is a spirit, and we can't see a spirit with your eyes."

He laughed at the eye-covering example, satisfied for the moment, and we continued walking. But we've had this discussion many, many times, I would estimate probably at least half a dozen over the past few months.

I'm most likely making a big fuss over nothing. It's just hard to watch him, at three years old, so pertinently struggle with such a big concept that many adults haven't even come to terms with. We don't generally consider little kids much of theologians, but they do ask big questions, make serious observations, and are desperately trying to figure out not only the physical world, but the spiritual one as well.

And it is really difficult for me sometimes knowing that, even in my doing my best to help him understand, he still nonetheless has to make the journey on his own.

"Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear."
Hebrews 11:3
Hunter is 3 years, 10 months old

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