|Like a deer in headlights...|
"Excuse me?" I gasped, almost spilling my wine on the couch. C'mon! I was comfortable with a glass of Pinot Noir in my hand, my feet up, after a long day at work, and settling in to watch the Mets' game. Now, she wants me to think! Are you kidding me?
"Think about it for a minute and let me know when you're ready," she stated as she walked off into her room, clueless to what was running through my brain.
My mind started racing. What do I say? What does it mean to be a Christian? That's a huge! In ten seconds? Why does she always come to me? Why not ask Mommy?
Then, I caught myself and paused. I should be honored. She came to me, as she's done for other projects and I've come through. She trusts me and, moreover, I'm supposed to be the spiritual leader of my household! She's giving me an opportunity to lead! Either that or my wife said to her, "Ask your Dad!" and I was the default guy. In either case, the question remained, what do I say?
I thought for a minute and gathered myself.
About two minutes later, I yelled out, "OK., I'm ready." I got up quickly and wrote down some notes so I wouldn't forget what I had come up with. I'm better at remembering when I write things down (but don't tell my wife or she'll have me writing all day!).
My daughter came back into the living room with her school iPad in hand and pointed it at me.
I told her to sit in front of me and she did. She said, "Remember, you need to say it in ten seconds." Pausing briefly, she started rolling and then asked, "What does it mean to be a Christian?"
"To be a Christian," I answered, "is to be children of the light. To live in hope and in joy because, no matter what we're going through, no matter what hardship we may face, we know we'll get through it with love and faith. That's what it means to be a Christian."
I'm sure there are many other approaches I could have taken. I was reminded later of Pope Benedict, who wrote that being a Christian is not about a book. It's not about a creed. It's about an encounter with a Person. But, the children of the light route is the one that came to mind and I was able to expound upon quickly and succinctly.
"Great!" she exclaimed. "That was perfect."
"Really?" I asked, trying to sound humble, while envisioning the choir of angels saying, "Go Carlos, Go Carlos, Go Carlos..." and my 10-year-old son dancing the floss. I didn't even have to glance at my notes!
"Yes. You were about 18 seconds long but you were the best one!" (As if my ego needed any more stroking!)
Aww. Thanks, honey. Hopefully, my reward will be in heaven. Then again, I may need to work on that humility thing!...