Just Google It by Jack and Karen
We entered the world of gaming with full knowledge of its addictive nature, and have had many, many family discussions about the importance of setting healthy boundaries AND living within those boundaries so that we can enjoy the pleasures of life without getting swept away by them. Helping our boys find a healthy routine has been an ongoing struggle, but we all agree that it's worth the trouble. We believe that it's better that they have the opportunity to learn self-control now, while they have our support and guidance, than for them to try to learn it all by themselves after they've left the house, are living on their own, and will likely not have anyone to hold them accountable. So what does all this have to do with our mission to preach the Good News?
Jack: Because we're missionaries.
Steven: What's a missionary?
Jack: Just Google it and you'll figure it out. If you don't understand something you can ask.
[Jack and Michael continued playing, but Steven took a break to figure out what a missionary is. After 10 or 15 minutes he chimed back in...]
Steven: That's far out, but it makes no sense. Why would you choose to do something that's so hard? Is it hard?
Jack: Yeah, it's hard.
Steven: Why do you have to move around so much? Why don't you just stay in one place?
Jack: Because we're preaching the Word of the Lord to the world.
Steven: Why don't you just make a Google ad? That would be a lot easier.
Jack: You can't just make a Google ad for Jesus. It wouldn't be effective. You have to actually teach people about Him, but before you can teach people about Him you have to get to know them and develop friendships with them. Plus, not everyone has Internet to just look on Google.
A couple weeks after the "Just Google it" exchange, Jack and Michael were playing Minecraft for a bit before bed. I peeked in to tell them they had 5 more minutes before we would be saying prayers altogether. I also reminded them that they needed to get a good night's sleep because we had a big day ahead of us. If I remember correctly, the boys spent the following day helping a fellow missionary family clear a field so that the local Nicaraguan guys would have somewhere to play baseball. As I walked away I heard Jack say to his virtual gaming friend, "Hey, we only have 5 more minutes. We have to go say prayers and then go to bed because we're going to help out some other family tomorrow." I heard a faint voice ask, "Your family prays together every night?" Jack simply said, "yes" as he continued playing. When I learned that Steven was the one inquiring about nighttime prayers my eyes welled with tears of joy because I realized that Jack and Michael do in fact consider themselves missionaries and they realize that what we're doing is important. Just because they don't want to stand up in front of a group and do silly movements to children's praise and worship songs anymore doesn't mean that they don't want to be missionaries, and just because they get embarrassed when someone puts them on the spot doesn't mean that they don't love the Lord. Through recent encounters, I'm starting to understand that evangelization looks different for a 14-year-old boy than it does for a 47-year-old mom, and I'm better able to support our kids in their efforts to share Jesus' love with others as they see fit. I thank God for the grace that He's given me to help our kids learn healthy boundaries in the virtual world, and I'm really proud of them for doing their part to spread the faith... via Minecraft.
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Thank you and may God bless you and all those