Holy Moments: The Key to Childlike Faith
“I think one of the temptations with the way that you've described holy moments is to believe that you have to be aware of that process in order for it to be a holy moment. In order to have a holy moment, I need to be like, okay, God... wait, hold on. I got to put myself interest aside for a hot second here. Okay, God, what do you want me to do? All right, I'm going to go do it. But in the book, there's an amazing example that you give of your son, Walter, who has a beautiful holy moment, but he's also not consciously aware that he's having one. What is the relationship between awareness and holy moments?”
“Yeah, so we're driving home one day and we go past the donut shop and Walter says, "Should we stop and get some donuts for Ralphie? Ralphie loves donuts." Walter doesn't need donuts, and we did. When we got home it turned out Ralphie had had a rough day. It just really, it was a very touching thing to see Walter bring these donuts into Ralph and then to learn about his day. It was just clear the spirit was at work. Later that night, Walter came into my office and I was working on the book and he said, "Dad, what are you working on?" Because one of the things I've had to teach my children is that I do a lot of things in my office at home. I do business work. I pay the bills. I read, I write. There's a lot of things I do in there. I don't want them to grow up thinking daddy works all the time. There's a lot of things I do in there that are not work, and that are important parts of my life.
Anyway, he came in and he said, "What are you doing?" I said, "I'm working on a new book." And he asked me what it's about, and I explained, it's about holy moments. I said to him, "Did you have any holy moments today?" He's a very thoughtful little guy. He's 12, and sits there for a moment and he said, "I don't think so." And I said, "Well, I think you had a holy moment on the way home when we stopped to get the donuts. That was your idea, and I think the spirit was stirring in you. You don't eat donuts. It's something you wanted to do for your little brother. Then when we got home, clearly Ralphie had had a day, and you could see that God was working through you to soothe, to care for Ralph. It's just a small thing, but that was a holy moment."
To circle back to your question, Walter was not doing that intentionally. He wasn't saying, "I am going to create a holy moment." I think the danger is to think that we have to teach Walter to do it intentionally. I think we actually have to return to where Walter is, where it happens naturally, spontaneously, creatively. The spirit is alive and well, thriving in all of those things. But we worship our intellects, and so we think that if we intentionally do something, that it has more value. But of course, that also is a form of self-worship, because ultimately it is God that is creating the holy moments. He's collaborating with us to create these holy moments. Should people set out to intentionally create holy moments? Yes, but only because, like virtue, over time by doing that, it will become natural and spontaneous and creative, and it will not require the same level intentionality that it requires early on in the beginning.”
“That's a totally different way to look at what Jesus said when he invited us to be like little children, right? That's just, little children have that natural propensity to collaborate and cooperate with the spirit. Ah, so that's-“
“And to listen to their hearts and to follow their hearts. Yeah, it's a beautiful thing.”
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