How do you know you are getting old? When your kids can turn the joke on you. Of course it took the kids 38 years to do it. (good retort, you better watch it kid, now everyone knows your age). Five days after I sent an e-mail to my children I got an answer at 6 am from my daughter, not exactly my prime time for repartee.
The e-mail I sent her was a Baby Blue comic script that brought back the days thirty years ago, when I unquestionably knew all. I had taught the children how to use a phone directory, a dictionary and a new set of encyclopedia with the instructions that those books were their first source of information. After they had consulted them they could ask me. The Baby Blue cartoon went: “Dad, who invented the rug?” He answered: “A caveman with cold feet.” The child looks at dad with believing eyes and says: “Boy! This research thing is a snap!” Dad looks dumbfounded and says “Uh, wait a second.”
When I answered like that I was not dumbfounded, I was smugly triumphant. I quickly and flippantly answered everyone of their questions. They quickly learned to the facts. The phone numbers didn’t work, the spellings were not correct, and Tallahassee was not the capital of Massachusetts. I had taught the kids how to do research, and the fact that knowledge required some work. Impishly they still goaded their friends to ask me any question.
But I was slow this morning when my daughter replied to my e-mail (after five days) “Hey dad I need a phone number. Do you know it?” I wondered what did she do, get a new cell phone and forget to transfer numbers. So I called her and she got me! The table turned, as she gleefully said “Dad, you don’t get it, do you”. She was asking the same old question. I am still a sucker for the kid’s questions and at times not ready with repartee.
Sometimes I wonder if God answers us flippantly like I answered the children. After all we badger God all the time with questions. Scriptures tells us that God created us in his image, so doesn’t God have the same type of humor as we, droll at times. Doesn’t our sense of humor come from God and maybe God plays with us? God gives us a mind and the tools to use it. If we rely on God to answer every question we have we squander the gift God gave us that makes us most like Him, our mind, and our ability to think and to make choices. The problem with too many of us is that we want to remain childlike in our thinking. That is we do not want to use the knowledge and ability to work out the answers ourselves. We want instant answers from a source we trust and a source that we can blame for any mistakes. We do not want to develop our own moral conscience so we can make the life decisions that are necessary to make. God has given us many resources, His Church and our minds. Do we use them?
PS. Remember to smile, God is.