I have to start this way because all of my kids tease my husband when he starts his long drawled out, "Well, when I was a boy..." And, a story begins.
When I was a little girl, my mom would stop for Chapel visits quite often. Or, at least it seemed. She would tote all 8 or 6 of us kids right down the aisle of the Church and into the pew for "just a minute". As a matter of fact we had a little poem taped to the bathroom mirror that had on the front a picture of a young boy at the end of a path with the Church at the other end and was titled, "Just for a Minute". It wouldn't matter if there were groceries in the car or if she had to get dinner on the stove or we were coming home late from a practice, if the feeling hit her, we stopped. I think that most of the time I knelt and wondered what everyone else was saying to God. What could they be telling Him or asking Him? I was always squirmy sitting in the quiet.
Now, I long for those times, sitting in quiet and listening for a word or a direction or an approval. Last night I took my 9 year old to the gym for a little while to work with her on her basketball skills. After speaking with my brother many months ago about our children I decided to take his advice, although he called me for that, and use working with my kids on their extra-curricular activities as a chance to spend quality time with them one on one. Anyway, it was fun and somewhat productive and I feel we regained some of her confidence after her miserable first practice. (She was inadvertently made fun of and wanted to "never go back".) As we drove home, approaching the church I asked if she'd like to make a visit in the Chapel. "Sure." As I parked, she said, "You know, all we need in this life is religion." I asked her to repeat what she said so that I could be sure I heard correctly and then I totally agreed and inserted "God". I swiped my key card which she thought was cool and we blessed and entered. (I thought, "those were the days" when churches could be left unlocked). The choir was practicing in the church and as we knelt down I realized how peaceful it was with her in that moment. After a few minutes, she leaned over and whispered, "Do you want to go sit up there?" Meaning, up in the chairs at the tabernacle. "No. I'm fine unless you want to move." "No, but in first grade Mrs. B let us sit up there and told us not to touch the tabernacle. I did and I can't remember who it was but some boy told on me. Mrs. B wasn't mad." Wow. I didn't even have to wonder what she was thinking. She just lets everything spill right out. I told her to go ahead and finish up with her prayers because we would have to leave. It was past her bedtime. That little head pressed down hard against the armrest and she closed her eyes. How much closer could we possibly get to Him then at this moment, in this place? I thank God for my parents handing down the example of stopping by the Chapel even "just for a minute". I thank God for giving us a large family who we can rely on for good advice because when I was a little girl, I wondered just what it was all about and how it would benefit me in the long run. And I thank God for this little girl, not squirmy at all, who knows that all we need for this life is our faith.