There are so many times when I just can not wait to talk about something.
A week or so ago when we were all piling into the car to go to school, my oldest son waved an urgent hand at me to follow him to the back of the car. Once I complied, he motioned for me to lean down close to his face, and he whispered “I need to ask you some things over here so my brothers do not hear.” He had a bunch of questions to ask me about the details of a playdate he was going on after school. It seemed at first like he wanted to keep it a secret from his brothers though I could not imagine why. He was literally bursting with excitement at the news of his after school activities while simultaneously wanting to ask a bunch of clarifying questions about it. Once all his questions were answered, he seemed satisfied. And less than a minute after our conversation ended, as I finished packing the back of the car, I heard him get into the backseat, buckle his seatbelt, and spit out the news like he could no longer contain it: “Brothers, I’m going on a playdate after school!”
So much for well-kept secrets.
The news of a playdate is always super exciting. And any news that causes joy is really difficult to keep to yourself. So, I can only imagine what it would have felt like to have just witnessed the transfiguration of Christ. The apostles received clear confirmation of what they already believed to be true of their friend. They had first-hand knowledge that this man, this friend of theirs was the Son of God. And then, they came down from the mountain and were immediately told “Shhh! Don’t tell!”
I can not imagine being told not to say anything about an experience like that. I mean, I’m not sure I would have been able to comply. Like a small child bursting with news about a playdate, I’m sure joy would be written all over my face and the story probably would have burst right out of me before I even knew how to contain it.
So, why did the disciples not tell?
Perhaps it was because they were loyal to what the Son of God was asking them. Or perhaps it is because people would think they were crazy if they told – I mean would you believe what they had to say? Or maybe, just maybe, it is because they still had more questions and needed to process more before they talked about it.
My son had more questions about the playdate before he talked about it. He wanted to know all the details and understand the process for what was going to happen after school. He started asking questions the night before and continued to ask those questions by the trunk of the car. He was only able to finally burst forth with the news after he understood the situation completely.
Maybe the disciples also wanted to take the time to understand before they burst forth with the news. After all, then they could more effectively help others understand as well.
In today’s time, we have a hard time keeping any news or speculation about news quiet. It is so easy to send a tweet, take a photo and make the best Instagram story, or even text someone moments before the news breaks so you can be the first one to break it to them. It is so much harder to be patient and ask all the necessary questions and do all the needed research and even let something simmer in our hearts first before sharing it with others.
But so much value can be added with time, reflection, and contemplation.
My prayer for all of us this week is that we can follow the example of the disciples and pause to ask the questions, do the reflection, and take the time needed to fully understand before sharing… even when it is most challenging.