Before anything else....go to Grant English's blog and read this.
I'm a regular "lurker" at Grant's blog. I've never met Grant but I have come to respect him through his writing. (I would even encourage you to read his blog regularly....more so than mine!) Grant is a follower of Christ, husband, father, former youth pastor and a new lead pastor. I also believe he is a builder - of relationships and disciples and that he is helping to speed the breaking through of God's Kingdom in the here and now.
When I read the post about the phone call he received from a school district employee regarding his son.....
....it made me joyful. Being the parent of 4 children I can relate to what it's like to get calls like that. Starting off from "Oh no, what's my son done?" and ending at "WOW, that's what MY son has done!" is a great day.
....it made me hopeful. As a Christian, reading about the impact of our attitudes and our serving of others reminds me again it's not about what goes on inside the walls of our churches.
....it made me wonder. How do I respond when someone asks why I do/don't participate in something. And I got hung up on the phrase "Because, I love Jesus". And it has continued to resonate...convict....grow....and just won't leave me. As I have tossed that phrase around in my head I have come to love it. (Yes, you can put the well deserved "Well, duh" in right here.)
"Because I love Jesus" - takes the focus off of me and shines it onto Christ. When I make a God honoring decision and I'm in a position to share the "why" behind that decision I'm tempted to say "because it's the right thing to do (probably true)" or "because that's how I roll (okay, I don't ever say this...I'm too old!)". But if I say "because I love Jesus" then it's not because of MY rightousness....spirituality....individual convictions - it's because of the one who has transformed me and shown me a better way. It immediately points to Christ - opens up the opportunity for others to say "What? - c'mon...are you kidding me" and enter into a conversation that isn't focused on me but on what Christ has done for me. And how cool is that. The chance for seeds to be planted and lives to be changed and relationships to be built.
So, as a Dad, I want to be sure to share that phrase with my kids. To give them that "handle" to use in their conversations. And to continue to use it myself. And that when the phone rings, and it is my child's school......well I can hope can't I?