There’s a lot I would like to teach my children. In this season with a preschooler and a toddler in the house it’s about learning how to share, chewing with closed mouths, remembering to say please and thank you, and practicing inside voices. And there’s so much I hope they learn from watching my husband and I: love of books, eating together around the table, talking with neighbors, sharing meals with friends, and building community at church.
But there are also lessons God is teaching me through my children. Lessons of patience and humility. The reminder to slow down and marvel at a red leaf falling to the ground and a caterpillar slinking through the grass. The lessons of joy found in playing hide and seek and building tree houses from blocks. The comfort found in sitting on the couch with open laps and books to read. The savoring of pretend tea and cookies cooked in the pretend oven.
What if in all these moments God is showing me over and over again what it is to listen? To hear God’s joy in the laughter of my children, to feel God’s peace in the cuddles on the couch, and God’s hope in reaching a hand out to share the peace on Sunday morning.
Recently we hosted an event at church where those who attended could walk a labyrinth. A prayerful encounter following a guided path. In the midst of talking to friends, finishing up lunch, and packing birthday blessing bags for a service project, I look up and see my son walking the labyrinth. He’s on the path looking focused and prayerful. At least that’s what I see. But I also feel God nudging at my heart and calling me to pause. To rest. To slow down and look around me.
Perhaps I don’t need to worry so much about what I need to teach my children, but rather look to the One in whom we all find our center. The One who guides us along the way hearing our dreams and hopes, feeling our pain and sorrow, and transforming ordinary moments into extraordinary encounters with the holy.
Come and walk with me, God says to us. I’m with you.
Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two, and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, MO. You can read more at her website or follow her work on Facebook.