I so enjoyed heading up to Max’s elementary school recently to have lunch with him. We totally downed some classic cafeteria food, complete with a Flinstone’s Push Pop. Delicious.
We went through the lunch line and headed to our seats. I noticed that he jumped right into his meal and starting chowing down. This was unusual to me because Max prays on his own before every meal at home. I leaned over to him and said “do you want to pray with Daddy to thank God for our food?” He looked back at me with disappointment in his eyes and said with all sincerity, “Dad, we’re not allowed to pray in school.”
My heart broke a little. I explained to him that every little boy and girl is allowed to pray for their food if they want. Not everyone believes the same way, but that he was allowed to pray for his own food. He was excited and we prayed a quiet prayer.
Dara and I have made a decision to have our kids in public school. It’s been a wonderful experience for us. We love the faculty and staff and feel a part of a great big family. But this was a startling reminder that Dara and I have a very important charge to teach our kids to stand. To stand on their faith and apply them to their lives, even as elementary aged children.
Just like when Max was learning how to walk, I can teach him to stand and gain his balance. But it’s up to him to take his first steps on his own to grow into the man of God that he will be in the future.