When I became a parent I got a whole new vocabulary. Not just baby goo goos and gibberish, I never spoke that way to my boys. I read Sports Illustrated to Isaac when he was just a few weeks old. No, the vocabulary I learned was phrases I never thought I would hear come out of my mouth. Here are just a few of them…
“Don’t make me stop this car…” That one invariably came out when my children decided that whatever side of the car they were on was nowhere near as good as the side their brother was on. This usually led to punches, crying and threats.
“I’ll give you something to cry about…” This phrase usually came after the back seat fights and threats.
“Quit hitting your brother with (fill in the improvised weapon of choice)…” These weapons ranged from Hot Wheels to pieces of sports equipment.
“Yaaaay! You pooped in the toilet! You get to flush!” Yep, a full grown adult man clapping next to a toilet with one little floating piece of childhood victory. The embarrassment of uttering that sentence was overshadowed by the chance that I wouldn’t have to buy diapers soon.
“Why did you hit dog poop onto the neighbor’s house with my five iron?” Yes, that actually happened, and I actually said it.
“Because I said so, that’s why. You’ll do it and you will like it.” When I was a kid I swore I would never say it. I did, though. As a parent, it just comes out!
Before people come to Christ they have no idea how much their vocabulary will change, either. When you become a Christian so many things change in your life that you begin to say things you never thought you would say. You know, things like…
“I can’t believe how peaceful I feel.” Coming to Christ allows you to feel peace like you’ve never felt before. There is something about knowing that your sins are forgiven that gives you a great feeling.
“I forgive you…” One of the great things about being a Christian is knowing that God gives you the ability and the love to forgive those who have hurt you. Forgiveness brings freedom you cannot imagine before knowing Christ.
“I was praying this morning and…” Suddenly, prayer is not something that you use only over your eggs in the morning or in an emergency. It becomes a necessary part of your life, and you begin to wonder how you lived without it.
Just like becoming a parent changes your world view, so does becoming a Christian. In his book, “The Radical Christian,” Arthur Wallis says that becoming a Christian puts an axe to the root of our life and turns our lives upside down. The things that used to be important are, as Paul said, “dung.” The things that never mattered, like prayer, loving others, and following Christ are now as vital to your life as breathing and eating.
Becoming a parent made my life so amazing in so many ways, and opened up facets of my life I could not have possibly imagined. Yet as rewarding as parenthood was, becoming a Christian changed my life more profoundly than anything in my life. Just like I could not imagine not being a parent, I cannot fathom trying to live my life without Christ.
Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV)
Far from making your life drudgery or boring, following Christ will make your life fuller than you can begin to imagine. You just need to give it a try.
Living life to the full… Jerry