I recently heard a psychologist say that pre-school aged children ask about 100 questions of their parents each day. Perhaps, like me, some of you might be thinking that number sounds low based on fist-hand experience with hours spent in close proximity to a curious young mind. I love to hear our student’s questions.
Here are few of my recent favorites while moving around our children:
How did Noah catch the cheetah to get it on the boat?
What did feel like on your last day of being a child?
Who decided how big a metre would be?
What if we run out of air? Maybe people can learn to breathe underwater? That would be cool!
How many trees are there in London?
How did people make the first tools, if they didn’t have any tools?
While we might be inclined to become exasperated with the seemingly endless onslaught of questions, it is key to recognize that these questions represent young image-bearing children of the Lord attempting to figure out all things – from abstract ideas like love, grace, and beauty, -- to physical things like making a leaf whistle between their palms and painting things with water to see what they look like wet.
This time of abundant discovery is a crucial time for questions to be answered in a way that causes them to grow in the life of faith. “Is there a distinctly Christian way of asking and answering questions?” asked a colleague of mine years ago. I would propose there is. Here’s my short list.
- Questions and their answers should provide opportunity to see the connectedness of God’s world. It is complex in its design, and yet often simple in its beauty.
- The story of a perfect world, sin, and its restoration back to what it was meant to be should be frequent touch stones since questions intersect faith and observations so naturally.
- The time given to them should include the ability to stop, reflect, and marvel at who God is and how he designed the world as our home.
- Answering questions should always leave room for our students to push the edges of known understanding. Fulfilling the commandment to “subdue creation” (Gen 1:28) remains their calling and their contributions may be different than their parents. New ways and means are possible to use the world around us in God-honoring ways that he intended.