My son, Will, and I had just finished playing baseball this last weekend and did a quick stop at the store to get a few items for our homemade pizza night.
“Hey bud, what do you want on our pizza tonight?” I asked.
“Pepperoni and a lot of Jalapeños” he announced.
After a minute or two of silent thought, he explained. “Dad, I used to like spicy stuff because of how much I love you… I really wanted to be like you. Now I love spicy stuff just because I love spicy stuff! I mean, I still love you, but I love spicy stuff on my own now too!”
I loved this; it was encouraging and convicting at the same time.
You see, though it wasn’t my goal to get Will to love Jalapeños (or other spicy stuff), it happened because he was willing to try the stuff that his Daddy likes. In the last couple years, Will has gone from a few drops of Tapatio on his burrito, to pepperoni pizza covered in Hot-Wing sauce and Jalapeños. He can’t get enough spice!
My quick-jaunt home from the grocery store that evening had my mind spinning. My prayer is that Will (along with my daughters, my 8th grade guys and other people I get to “do life” with) will emulate me in a way much greater than taste-bud satisfaction. My hope is that he will see the way that I prioritize my love for God, His Word and His people and begin to try that as well.
I long for a similar spiritually spiced-up conversation:
“Hey bud, what do you want do tonight?” I will ask.
“Let’s talk Scripture, let’s share Jesus with those who don’t know Him yet and let’s serve the community” he will announce.
After a minute or two of silent thought, I imagine him saying, “Dad, I used to like Jesus and His stuff because of how much I love you… I really wanted to be like you. Now I love God, His Word and people just because I love Jesus! I mean, I still love you Dad, but I love Jesus and people on my own now too!”
Finally, on Sunday, at Subway, Will went through the line and confidently proclaimed his veggie choices, “I’d like both banana-peppers and Jalapeños”
May his love (and our love) for Jesus be proclaimed just as confidently!