What you have as a heritage, Take now as task; For thus you will make it your own! Goethe, Faust
The following is a fairly verbatim exchange in my effort to catechize (train up in matters of faith) the boys. I use the catechesis here. It’s long and very Reformed – an emphasis on God’s sovereignty and human depravity – so the boys have these great Reformed buzzwords – glory, sovereignty, covenant, sin – rattling around in their brains. Bracing stuff for little blonde examples of the law of entropy. Still, we soldier on:
Me: “OK, next question. Richey.”
Richey: “HOLY. . . . GLORY.” In an excess of enthusiasm he likes to blurt out words that might, vaguely, be answers.
Me: “No . . . ok . . . just . . . wait for me to read the question. Ready? What happened to our first parents when they sinned?”
Richey: Tilts his head back, rolls his eyes up and tries to look thoughtful. “ummmm . . . THEY BEHAVED INPROPRIATE.”
Robby: “NO RICHEY. THAT’S NOT IT. INSTEAD OF BEING HOLY AND HAPPY, THEY BECAME DISOBEDIENT.”
Me: “Hey, that’s pretty good Robby. Here’s the answer. Instead of being holy and happy, they became sinful and miserable. But disobedient is darn close.”
Richey: “AND PROBABLY A LITTLE STINKY.”
I kid you not. Exact words. And just like that the conversation devolves into a discussion on Adam and Eve’s bathing habits, which raises a very fair question. Why try, always awkwardly, to catechize the boys? How could these old stories, this strange belief in first parents and expulsion from a mythical garden, be of any help to them?