One fateful day, while driving in the car, well after Preston had memorized all the song's lyrics, he asked, "Mommy, why does this song say Jesus is Alive? Did he die? Did his parts stop working?"
Mommy nearly went into a panic. I've been a Christian for just under a year and a half. And Preston whips out a mother of all biblical questions.
As I started to fumble through a lame, and ultimately overly-complex explanation, Preston interrupted, "Mommy, well...why does it say I'll never be the same?"
And as sure as Moses parted the waters, I came up with one mother of an answer...
"Let's think of it like this. You and all the kids in your preschool class are good boys and girls, right?"
"But sometimes, you make bad decisions. And you get a time-out, right?"
Preston, "Yes! But not all the time!"
"Okay. Well, in the Bible there were lots of boys and girls. Just like in your preschool class. And even though the boys and girls were good, they sometimes had bad behavior. One day, all the boys and girls were getting in trouble, and their teacher said they ALL had to have a time-out!"
Preston, "ALL the boys and girls? That's A LOT!"
"But you know what happened? One boy in the class stood up and said he'd take a time-out for ALL the kids in the class. His name was Jesus. And even though all the kids had bad behavior, Jesus volunteered to sit in his time out chair for as many minutes as it would take for all the kids to have their time-outs."
Preston, "So the other kids didn't have to go in time-out?"
"No, because Jesus was so good and kind. He loved all the kids so much that he didn't want them to have a time-out. He was willing to get in trouble so that nobody else had to! All the kids were so thankful for Jesus. They thought Jesus was wonderful and so nice to take their time out for them. And because Jesus was so nice, the kids decided they wanted to have better behavior. They wanted to be better kids because Jesus was so nice and kind."
Preston, very simply, "Oh okay. That's not confusing like the story you said before."
As I pulled into the driveway of our home, I was feeling rather proud of myself. I made that up on the fly and it made sense! And Preston even seemed to understand it. Go me!
Later that night, however, my so-called impressive explanation came back and bit me in the arse. Preston wasn't being on his best behavior. He was testing me like any good 4-year-old often does. So, I instructed him to go to the corner for his time-out. (We do corner time-outs in our house...much more effective that sitting in a chair!)
Preston looked at me, brows furrowed, and lips tightly clenched. He slowly muttered, "BUT YOU SAID!? YOU SAID JESUS TOOK MY TIME OUT FOR ME!?"
Some people's kids!