The Classroom of the Ordinary

My son is a genius.  He’ll be two in December, and he can already count to ten.  He knows most of his ABCs and their phonetic sounds.  He can identify any truck or machine by name and sound.  After helping him buckle his car seat once he could do it on his own.  He can operate a universal remote better than his mother and he likes to solve impossible mathematical problems that I write on a whiteboard in our hallway.  I’m not saying my kid is smarter than your kid, but…

All kidding aside, his capacity for learning is remarkable, but the truth is that it’s not because he is the smartest twenty-one-month-old on the planet. Caiden is in that incredible stage of life when his brain is most fertile and open to growth.  He says whatever he hears and does whatever he sees.  I sing “Bushel and a Peck,” and moments later he is singing the song with me. I teach him about red lights and green lights, and he yells, “Gogogogogo” when a red light turns green.  I read a book and he finishes the sentences.

He is constantly learning from me whether I am being intentional or not, and this leads me to ask myself, “What do I want to teach my son?”  Years from now, Caiden is going to have a list of things he is grateful that he learned from me, and he’ll have another list of things he wishes the old man hadn’t taught him.

I won’t be a perfect father, and he’ll probably need counseling for the things on that second list.  Nonetheless, I want to be more intentional about what I teach my son, so I decided to start a list, “Things I Want to Teach My Son.” Some things are simple, like how to start a one match fire.  Others are more significant, like seeking to understand people and ideas that are different rather than judge them, and to follow Jesus in every moment of every day.

If I am committed to being intentional about teaching my son, I wonder how intentional God is in what he is trying to teach me.  Could it be that the mundane events of my every day carry significance?  Might God be trying to teach me in the middle of my workday, my time with family, even in the movies I watch and the books I read?  What if the world is our classroom and our everyday experiences a chalkboard that God uses to teach us? What if you and I began to view our lives, our ordinary experiences as God given opportunities to learn and grow into a deeper relationship with him?

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