Column: Life with Logan
Children know more than you think, and at 5-years-old, I obtained extraordinary knowledge.
One of my father’s early commitments as a parent involved teaching Christian principles to his kids. He frequently quizzed my knowledge of God, Jesus and salvation. My older sister and I even recited catechisms growing up.
The Bible demands that parents “train their children in the way they should go,” and my father never shied away from that command.
My father earned his doctorate in history, and he specialized in the study of colonial American religion. When my father discussed Christianity, he never played around. He kindly demanded serious, honest answers during our discussions to ensure authentic understanding.
“Logan, how do you get to heaven?” he asked me for the hundredth time.
Most 5-year-olds couldn’t articulate the correct answer, but given my thorough biblical training, I knew the odds fell in my favor.
I knew the correct response immediately, but as a joke, I decided to purposefully reply with a false answer.
I gently grinned at the thought — immediately revealing my dishonesty — confident that this would brighten my experience.
With me, you don’t need a lie detector to uncover the truth. Even now, at age 22, my facial expressions betray my motives.
My head swayed left to right, I gazed away from my father. I pursed my lips, desperately holding back a giggle.
“Logan, how do you get to heaven?” my father asked again.
“By being good,” I replied, a smile stretching across my face. I bit my bottom lip.
My father sighed, faintly disturbed by my answer. Obviously, he knew I was joking, but he desired to hear the truth spring from my mouth.
“Logan?” he asked again, hoping I would respond to the serious tone in his voice. “How do you get to heaven?”
“By doing good works,” I replied, failing to properly pronounce my ‘r’ sound in ‘works.’
“Logan, don’t be silly.”
I cannot remember how long I carried the joke. I may have responded a few more times in my cute, innocent manner, either repeating my original answer or including a twist of the same thing. My goal, as always, was to create unnecessary tension.
My father tolerated silliness, but he preferred thoughtful attitudes during devotions, discussions on Christianity and anything religiously related.
If you desire wisdom, seek advice from the elderly. And while old people have the experience, little kids often hide impeccable wisdom inside their brains. The faith of children, for example, should stand as a pillar for all Christians to observe.
And sometimes the words of children can prove equally captivating, such as my honest answer to my father’s vital question.
Psalm 8:2 says that “Out of the mouth of babes hast thou ordained strength.”
Evidently I was filled with the Holy Spirit when I finally put my joking aside, because my answer took my father by surprise.
“Logan, be serious,” my father said. “How do you get to heaven?”
“Well,” I said, my tiny 5-year-old eyes fixed directly on my father. “I guess you have to get dead first.”