Within the last several weeks, we have discovered more things the Enemy of our souls has been saying to our sons. I'll share one of them in this post.
Two weeks ago, Sunday Night, while special music was being sung, Marianne looked over to see Allan crying. The song was neither a sad nor particularly convicting song, so she leaned over to ask, "Is everything ok?"
Allan: "I don't think so."
Marianne: "What's the problem?"
Allan: "What if God doesn't exist?"
How's that for a bombshell in the middle of a service!? Our eight year old is contemplating the non-existence of God! Now, you can be sure that thought didn't come from God!
At home that evening, Marianne shared Allan's question with me, and so I addressed over our Sunday PM ritual of fried eggs and toast.
My best shot at an eight year-old level was to say, "Allan, if God didn't exist, then this world wouldn't exist. The kind of world we live in can only exist if there is a God."
I asked if he understood, and he said he didn't really. :o/ But that was all I could come up with at the time.
A couple days later, I tried again: "Allan, if you shook up your box of legos, do you think there is any chance that a perfectly put together Space Shuttle would emerge from the box after you took off the lid?"
Allan: "No, way"
Me: "Even if you shook it up a long time?"
Allan: "No chance. That could never happen."
Me: "You're right, and the kind of world we live in, where we're just the right distance from the sun, and have just the right levels of oxygen and nitrogen in our atmosphere, and are tilted at just the right angle for seasons, and everything is just right for human and animal life, could never have happened by chance. That would be like shaking up a box of legos and getting a Space Shuttle."
That seemed to make sense to Allan. Then, because I was curious, I asked: "Why were you crying when you were thinking what if God doesn't exist?"
Allan: "Because if God didn't exist, there wouldn't be any heaven! That would be sad!"
I suspect there are still better ways to answer this question and make it clear to an 8 year old. I welcome your suggestions.