Faith Like Rubik’s Cubes

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Faith Like Rubik’s Cubes

Simple as a Child

By Vinnie MacIsaac

[Re-blog from 2015]

“I tell you the truth, unless you turn around and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven!” Matthew 18:3

 If you call it the Kiss principle[1]or Ockham’s Razor[2] it all amounts to the same core truth, “Simple is better.” Why do we as adults have the need to make things so complicated all the time? In some ways, even looking at my own life and walk with God, I, too, make things more complicated then they need to be, and at times I want for the simple faith of my childhood.

Recently, I took our foster children[3] to church for the first time. Andrew[4] who is about 7-ish was so excited to be there. It was unbelievable to watch him follow along in the church bulletin and see which item we were on. Luckily, for me, it was youth day, and so I did not have to preach, and I was able to sit with him. When the preaching started, he asked me to help him find the passage in the pew Bible. He got so excited when he was able to find the words on the page that were being spoken from the pulpit.

 Out of no place, Andrew turns to me in the middle of service and says, “Vince, are you the boss of this whole place?”

Trying to be modest and not give the wrong impression of what a Pastor is I responded by saying, “No, I am not the boss, I am the Pastor, which means I work for them.”

But Andrew responds, “But that means you’re in charge, right?”

“No,” I respond, trying to figure out away deflect his focus from the idea of ministry being about authority, “It means that all these people here are praying for you every day.”

“Oh, I get it now!” Andrew says excitedly, “They are praying for me because you’re their boss and they have too!” and it was at that moment I realized there is just no way to defeat child logic and sometimes you just have to roll with it.

Have you considered fostering or adopting? So many children out there need someone to love them.

When children come to live with you whom you have not raised, you never know the level of understanding they will have in matters of faith. But we teach them to pray, before they eat, before they leave for school, and before bed. We all always have a bedtime Bible story, and our betimes prayers always include their extended family they are away from. But one of the things I have noticed is, regardless of what formal religious teaching they have had or are lacking, Children just have this natural connection to God that just seems to come out of nowhere. Sure, their understanding may be basic, even crude, or flat-out wrong, but their faith is as strong as steel!

So, I am sitting there in Church with Andrew, and after a while, his attention fades because sermons rarely come in child sized bites. Andrew kept listening but, at the same time, picks up his Rubik’s cube and randomly starts turning it. Then suddenly he looks up at me with a great big smile on his face and says, “Look! Look what happened, my Rubik’s cube just made the sign of the cross all on its own at Church! God must have made that happen for me because we are in a church!”

Andrew’s cube made the sign of the cross.

Now you and I are already in our big fat over loaded adult brains saying to ourselves, “Ah that is a sweet kid, but come on, that is just happenstance and random coincidence.” But, why? Why can’t it be true? Why do we as adults have to use the intellect all the time to override the reality of faith and the belief in God’s power and love? Surely God’s love that was significant enough to send his son to earth to die for us forgive us of our sin, and show us His love for us is also high sufficiently to move Rubik’s cubes into crosses to show us His love is real and for us! And it made me wonder if I do not have the Rubik’s Cubes in my life made into crosses, just because my adult logic refuses to see them? Maybe, all day long, every day God is making the sign of the cross, the sign of His love for me, the sign of his attention to me evident to me. But whenever His goodness and love is poured out on me, I rationalize it away.

Is that what really happens when we grow up? Is growing up really the process of deleting all evidence of God’s love and the weeding out of our faith?

Is that what happens when we grow up? Is growing up the process of deleting all evidence of God’s love and the weeding out of our faith? Yes, sadly, and even tragically, for some of us, it is. It is like God gives us all a measure of faith when we are kids; it seems we are just born with it when we come into the world. Then as we grow up, if we are not careful, the things of this world rob it away from us all. Some of us will just stop seeing the magic of crosses in Rubik’s Cube, and other of us just are deprived of all belief in God altogether.

Maybe the problem is that, as adults, we become so focuses on solving the problems of the Rubik’s Cube of life that we can’t see the great insights into God, faith, and love those complication cube solving moments creates for us.

During the appeal, the youth preacher made a call for all the people who had never made the decision to be a follower of Jesus before to check off that decision on their decision card to follow Jesus. Andrew looked up at me and asked, “Can you help me find that on the card? I want to follow Jesus!”

I don’t know that he truly understood all that is involved in becoming a dedicated follower of Jesus, nor the cost of self-sacrifice it would ultimately take to follow Jesus all the way in this world. But does that matter? He had faith that could not be rationalized away by the things of this world. Maybe, he just had the sincere, honest faith to sign up with Jesus without the need to have all the adult check items crossed off his list. Maybe his simplistic childhood Rubik’s Cube faith was more than enough for him to know Jesus was real and worth following. And maybe that is what Jesus meant when he said, “I tell you the truth unless you turn around and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven!” Matthew 18:3

POSTSCRIPT:

After the kids had been off to school this morning, I passed by their bedroom. Looking in I noticed Andrew’s bed nicely made, and all his teddy bears, stuff animals, and favorite toys, all neatly arranged on his bed, and along the bed frame and even a few poking out from the bedsprings of his brother’s bunk bed above his. But I could not help but notice and be moved by the fact that his new Bible, which he got last week, was central among all these toys having received the chief and prized spot on this bed. It was firmly and faithfully placed on his pillow as if to suggest it is the crown of all his possessions. That is what I call faith like Rubik’s Cubes.

 


[1] K.I.S.S is an acronym for Keep It Simple Silly

[2] The principle states that among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. Other, more complicated solutions may ultimately prove correct, but—in the absence of certainty—the fewer assumptions that are made, the better. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor)

[3] In Psalm 68:5 God calls us believers to be Father’s to the Fatherless. Have you considered how you could help change a young person life forever and maybe even for all eternity? In the U.S. 397,122 children are living without permanent families in the foster care system. 101,665 of these children are eligible for adoption, but nearly 32% of these children will wait over three years in foster care before being adopted. More than 23,000 of these children every year will age out of the system with no long term family or support system and will need to suddenly be able to fend for themselves. Google Christian foster care and the name of your local area.

[4] Andrew is a pseudonym to protect his identity and family. Andrew could be anyone of the 397,122 children in foster care in the United States. Children who arrive in care have many reasons for their placement and not all of them involve anyone’s fault, and so all precautions should be taken to avoid any social stigma upon them.

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Vic says:

    I do believe we underestimate God and the “making of crosses”–and too often, even if one has persevered into adulthood still being awed by the simple “coincidences”—there’s always someone to complicate, or scientifically explain why it’s “not special.”
    What kind of disappointment is in people’s lives that they want to spread that same discontent and doubt to others—even children?
    If we can’t be filled with awe ourselves, let’s at least bask in the glow of the fact that others still are!
    And THAT might be the biggest miracle of all!

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