Four grandchildren. Done!
We were given a lot of good advice in advance of this weekend. We have much history to lean upon. We have our own parenting experience (a lot of details forgotten). We have family trees and masses of history from the past to research if we wanted (we didn’t). And we have all our previous experience of these lovely four boys.
Yet push come shove what counted was this: living in the moment.
Yes everything else is useful. Everything else is relevant. Everything else is connected. But what really mattered was how each of them were in each moment by moment – how we were in each moment by moment. There was no perfection to be attained, there was no pass or fail, there was only what was happening in the moment. How you would have done things, how the boys’ parents would have done things, how the experts would have done things … is all “academc”.
The four boys and we lived together this weekend – all of us compromising in some way and at some time. All of us had lots of laughs, lots of cuddles, a few grumps (and the little ones far more sleep than the grandparents). We are family and family is not just about “blood” – blood so often means we have to like those we don’t as well as those we do. Family in it’s truest sense is only and all about love. Love means we are connected in kindness, laughter/tears, good/bad, and in (and for) eternity. Love is in the moment and every moment whereas blood can hold a grudge through generations.
I keep reading blogs about Christianity that explore the intellectual and academic, that ask the big questions, that slice and dice what makes a proper Christian or not. Blood figures highly in these writings. Blood is at the heart of this Christian family – but family is not just about blood – family is about love.
What if … ?
The big questions of theological rigour seem to have one thing common. They all have “What If … ?” in common. What if God is this …. What if Jesus meant that … What if the bible is … What if you believe that – do this – don’t do this – don’t believe that … ?
I find the times we, as grandparents, discuss such “big (family) questions” is when we are not grandparenting at all. That is not to say there is no value in reflection and learning. But when I read of endless religious and Christian “what if’s” I wonder why this so often focuses on “details” …
Without “blood shed for us” what would … What if you are not baptised (“what if” subset – sprinkling or full immersion) … What if your church attendance is … What should being a Christian mean … What does “behaving biblically” mean … What is worship … What if someone asks me a question about … What is prayer … What if I cannot hear God speak … what what what what what …
I cannot give you the evidence for God any more that I can give you the evidence for our grandchildren being as adorable as they really are. Yet when I talk of four young lives being as adorable and loved and loving … I can connect with your adorable lives lived and loving.
Because love connects. Kindness is appealing. Enthusiasm is infectious. The present moment is all we have. And love is always the answer.