As I sit here doped up on cold medicine, I'm watching a TV show I really enjoy called The Middle. Forgive me if my thoughts don't quite track, I'm trying to keep this straight.... stick with me. I tried to type while the actors were speaking, to get the closest, most accurate words.
The youngest son reads EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME. He comes in during breakfast and says "Mom, how come you didn't tell me that church was based on a book?" Her answer, as she was trying to get kids out the door, "Now's not the time for the Bible, it's too early."
That night, he comes up to his dad and starts asking questions. He says "Dad, I've read it all, but I have a few questions- like 'How did Jonah survive in the belly of the whale, wouldn't the whale's digestive juices take care of him?' and 'How did Noah get two of every animal on one ship, the waste alone-' and his dad said, "Not now, Brick, it's too late."
Brick's response, "Well, then when is the right time? This morning it was too early, now it's too late...?!" The comedic moment was when the dad said "Well, Sunday morning, from 9-10."
As the show went on, Brick's sister brought him to talk to Rev Tim-Tom, a roving reverend who plays the guitar with new-age worship music while ice skating, helping to bring God's love to everyone. She insists that the reverend make her brother believe because she's afraid he won't be saved.
Brick's first point of frustration was this, "the more I read, the more questions I have!" And he went on to raise a few good points..." If God is all powerful, why didn't he make everybody nice?" "And the whole burning bush, Moses parting Red Sea- the believability- MEH!" The reverend's response, "If you believe in God, miracles happen every day!"
When the sister asked Rev. Tim-Tom how it went, he said it was more like a time release thing- that Brick needs to come to it in his own time.
Before traveling to the next town, Rev. Tim-Tom came to see Brick's sister- Completely distraught, she asked, "Why did you give up on Brick?!" The reverend answered, "I didn't give up on him- he's a questioner- if people didn't ask questions, God would be out of a job... the world has always been full of questioners... Do you like Justin Bieber? He can't make everyone like him... Jesus rolls like Justin- JC put the good word out there and let the people follow him. Lighten up, let him find his own path."
One of the closing scenes is the two kids looking out the window at snowflakes, and Brick's sister says,"Isn't it amazing that each snowflake is different? It took me an hour to cut 10, God has to do - like - 50 million. You can't tell me that isn't a miracle." Brick answers, "Good point. So, do you really believe all that stuff in the bible is true?" His sister answers, " Absolutely!" Scene ends with Brick saying, "Yeah.... I still don't know.... but it is a really good story.... I just wish it had roman numerals- nobody writes about roman numerals anymore." (random, I know.... watch the show, it'll make more sense!)
So- to reiterate Brick's question, when is the right time for God? Why can't it be in the morning, during breakfast, or on the way out the door. Why can't it be at night, after dinner, before bed? How many times have discussions similar to this happened- maybe not so much with the 4th grader reading the Bible in one day, but the child asking the parents questions, and the parents putting off answering the hard questions?
I really like how the writers of the show had the reverend answer Brick's questions. I really like how he helped the sister understand that she couldn't force her brother into believing in God, that she needs to let her brother get to the point of believing on his own time. I don't know that I would have made the connection with Justin Bieber and Jesus Christ, but it was a great way to explain it- JB (Bieber) puts his music out there, that's all he can do. JC (Jesus) puts the good word out there, and waits for people to come to Him- He can't make us love Him, we have to come to that on our own.
Perhaps, today, the right time for God is prime time.