My son and I recently graduated out of the crying room at our church, but not without a few bumps along the way.
He’s 3½, and we stayed in there longer than I would have liked, namely because he was an early and frequent talker who had difficulty distinguishing when is an appropriate time to discuss comic books and puppies.
Now he seems to have moved from talking to running.
One day, he ran at full clip after a potty break back to the "big church," and I tried unsuccessfully to keep up with him. I got there just in time to be horrified when he ran right across the front of the nave, in the middle of the psalm.
He went down an aisle far away from our seats, looking for me, as I tried to catch his attention from across the church. Father came to rescue, kindly directing him back to where I was sitting.
It was not lost on me that it was Good Shepherd Sunday, and Father literally was our good shepherd!
It is easy to think of my son as a sheep in need of a shepherd. But frequently I have to remind myself that I am a sheep, too. Just like him, I get lost and distracted by toys and technology. I often catch myself not focusing on the important things, and I eat things I shouldn’t, to name just a few of my faults.
Thank goodness there is a kind and loving shepherd who knows the path I must walk and guides me back to where I need to be.
He calls me to approach the kingdom of God as a child would: with innocence, joy and trust.
And that approach is something I am learning from my son.