One of the humbling
things about working with children is that they often pay attention
to things that adults miss. This is true of Christian formation.
Many children have a wonderful capacity to imagine, experience,
and explain God, and they feel a special closeness with God. Adults
who are willing to listen to and encourage children's spiritual
experiences can learn a lot from them. Parents and teachers have
an opportunity and a responsibility to be formed by children and
to make space for their spiritual formation.
A routine of
sharing moments from the day is one that many families practice.
It can also happen in a Sunday School class: one youth leader called
it "Happy/crappy" time. It is an opportunity to take everyday
events and put them in the context of spirituality: What do you
think God is doing? What do you think God wants you to do? Questions
like these, repeated over weeks and months and years can help form
children who are spiritually alive and aware, and encourages them
to act according to God's purpose.
of What made me happiest and What made me saddest today are questions
we never outgrow. Although we may change the phrasing a bit, these
are questions which can form us throughout our lives. The practice
of gratitude for each day is an important part of daily sharing,
and another life-long practice of paying attention that can form
our spirituality and that of our children.
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