Two nights ago we had an unusually sane dinner, during which we were actually able to have a decent devotional time. (This is not the norm. I repeat: orderly, rational conversation is not the dinnertime norm for our family.) We read and talked about the story of the rich young man from the Gospel of Mark. Remember how Jesus told him he was only lacking one thing? All he needed to do was go sell all of his possessions, give them to the poor, and follow Jesus. Unfortunately, he went away still rich, but very sad.
We talked about the Stuff to which our own hearts cling so tightly. "Matthew, what if God told you to give away your bunk bed and your new umbrella and your Diego blanket and your scooter so you could follow Him?" Matthew grimaced. "I wouldn't do dat!"
"Meg, what if God said you needed to give up your pillow pet and your teddy bear and your scooter?"
"Well... I would try to do that, because I love Jesus more than all those things."
"Mommy, what would be hardest for you to give up?"
"Mmmm... probably my computer."
"Because that's how I stay in touch with people. I email them and I read blogs. And it's also where I store information and all our pictures and organize our school, and... lots of things."
As I spoke, Dave's iPhone dinged, and he pulled it out of his pocket and glanced at its screen. A sly little grin crept over Matthew's face. Then he pounced.
"Daddy, what would you do if God took away your phone?"
I'm afraid there is only one word for what I did at this moment: I cackled. For quite a long moment. Dave looked at me and laughed as he said, "That's good, buddy. That's a very good catch."
And it was. My dear husband is as far from being a materialist as anyone I know, but if there is one thing he relies upon and enjoys maaaaybe just a teeny bit too much at times (other than fleece pullovers), it's probably the iPhone. It's really quite funny to hear someone called out when it's so spot-on. Especially when the caller-outer is four years old. And especially especially when you know the one getting called-out is humble of heart and will enjoy the joke as much as everyone else in the room.