Sunday Stride – God First


Five-year-olds can be awful certain sometimes.

Friday morning in the car, my five-year-old twins were thinking about the good ole days… They do this sometimes and it really makes me chuckle a little as I wonder how they possibly remember as much as they do. The topic of their musings this particular day was doctor visits. “Remember when I went to the doctor late at night that one time when I was broken,” one twin asked the other. “Yes, Milo, and I was alone in my room but it was okay. You were with mommy getting fixed.” I decided to participate in their musings and said, “Another time, Ollie, your head swelled and mommy had to spend a whole weekend in the hospital with you.” He smiled, “Yea, I remember. I wasn’t scared. I was happy because it was just you and me.” No way he remembered, he was nine months old for crying out loud. 

His brother asked, “So you were okay?” 

Immediately he replied, “Of course, I was with mommy. And I love her the most.” 

Seemingly puzzled, Milo sought confirmation, “Do you love her more than God?” 

“Yes,” he said without hesitation. 

“Well,” said Milo, “I love God the most. After all, God made us.” 

There can be a slight twinge in the heart of a mother, or at least in the heart of this mother, to hear that we rank lower than somebody else in our child’s eyes. On occasion, two of my boys have told me they love daddy more or papa more or the dog more… But Milo has never strayed from saying that he loves God more than anyone else. 

And that distinction does not make my heart ache at all. If anyone is to rank above me in my children’s eyes at this moment in time, I hope that it is God. 

I wonder if that is how Mary felt when she came to the temple with Jesus in her arms. She was traditionally presenting Him to God. In ceremony, she was saying “Jesus, love God more than me.” I can imagine that Mary, much like me, loved her son more than words could express. But she also acknowledged that Jesus was not hers to hold onto. 

Her job was a temporary one. 

As we celebrate the Presentation of the Lord this weekend, my prayer for all of us is that we can love God with the absolute certainty of a five-year-old child and acknowledge that though this life is temporary, another eternal one awaits for us all.

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