This last month, I went on vacation with my family–my WHOLE family–minus a couple members. We got in two vans with 15 people, 8 of them being children 11 and under, and headed west, covering thousands of miles. We traveled through the Wisconsin Dells and the badlands of North Dakota, saw wild animals, visited the amazing Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse, waded in a river, reveled in the beauty of Yellowstone and the majesty of the Grand Tetons, ate lots of ice cream, and experienced the wild, wild west during Frontier Days in Cheyenne, WY. As you can imagine, there were many grand adventures along the way, as we shared these amazing spots all together as a family.
There’s nothing like experiencing and thinking about God’s creation and gifts as seen through the eyes of children–the very thing He calls us to be in our faith. I had a special time with my nieces and nephews almost every night of the trip which we called, “God Rocks.” The kids picked up a rock every day, writing their name on it with their special colored marker, and each night we all shared our favorite thing that God had made or our favorite “gift” that He gave us from that day! After each child shared, they put their rock in a special jar, and we all celebrated their contribution by shouting together (or whispering loudly, depending on where we were! :-), God Rocks!!! We would finish each night with the reading of a grand missionary adventure story and a group hug and prayer over these precious children, asking God to pour out His love on them so that they will love Him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.
Some of the “rocks” that were thrown in the jar were “stones of remembrance” for the toys that were purchased at Wall Drug Store :-), the feeding of the prairie dogs in North Dakota, the 5 or 6 rainbows we saw in the Grand Tetons, the fun time with cousins, the lightning storm watched with awe in Laramie, WY, the swimming at the water park, the hike through the badlands in 110 degree temperatures, the siting of an elk in the forest, and the experience of having bison come right near our windows. These and many other “rocks” were celebrated by our 8 kids as we proclaimed together that “God Rocks!”
I love the process that Psalm 145 describes, “One generation will declare His works to another. They will speak of his mighty acts and tell of the glorious splendor of His majesty.” What an honor to have the opportunity to bring my awe of Jesus into a realm that our kids in the next generation can grasp, giving them a at a young age of just a small portion of the personal nature I have feasted on in my 40 years. How I pray that they will personally “taste and see that the Lord is good and that His love endures forever!” I pray that for the next generation in your lives as well!!