Headlines from First Thoughts

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Wednesday, December 6- 5 Year Olds and Advent

The greatest thing about a 5 year old during Advent is that he gets it. I know that preachers, musicians, and decorators seem to have a corner on the market this season. What would Advent be without sermons, music, trees, and garland? But everybody needs to see this from the world of a 5 year old.

Parker, who has been planning for this moment since last Christmas, is fully engaged this year. He's been actively involved in decorating the house, helping hang the outdoor lights, even giving instructions about "his" tree in his room. His little tree sits atop a train table, with of course, Papa's old train. It's straight out of a Belgian train factory, or at least that's the story we've been told. It runs with a voltage convertor, a wing, and a prayer, but in Parker's mind, it's a real train. And when the lights switch off in the room, the train chugs around the track. The glow of the train's headlight is surpassed only by the brightness of Parker's eyes as he engineers the railroad.

He knows the real story of Christmas; even the train track encircles a small nativity. Parker can tell you the whole story if you have the time. The point, of course, is not to get the story right or to have everything perfect. The point of the season is the size of his imagination, wonder, and belief. Hope is real, faith is active, and he's ready for all of it.

I don't know what you're up to this season, but I hope you find a child to hug and to ask about Christmas. It won't take much to understand what they're saying. Just watch their eyes.

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