Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Caught Not Taught

I walked into the "man cave" to say good-bye to Greg and DongMin . As was Greg's custom, he air kissed me "mmmt, mmt" as a reminder that he wanted me to kiss him good-bye. To my total surprise, DongMin, "mmmt, mmt'd" me as well. Immediately, I thought, "Does he want me to kiss him good-bye? Can I kiss my foreign exchange son as I do my own son? How sweet!" Then I bent over and kissed him on his beautiful coal black hair. Later in the day, I had to leave to pick Mikayla up from ballet and the guys were still in the "man cave" watching football. Once again, my beloved gave me his faithful hint, "mmmt, mmt." As I bent over to kiss Greg good-bye, DongMin "mmmt, mmt'd" me again and looked with raised eyebrows expressing, "Will you not kiss me as you do Daddy and Grant?" I caught the message and tenderly kissed his cheek. His bright smile made my day.

As I drove to pick up Mikayla, I started to practice my lesson for the Open Door Mission on Monday morning. We were storying Jesus' baptism as a part of a series I wrote on that focuses on the seven moments that Luke refers to that Jesus prayed. It suddenly occurred to me; nowhere in scripture does it say that Jesus told the disciples that they must make it their custom to go off to a solitary place to pray. Scripture simply tells us repeatedly that as was His custom Jesus withdrew to a solitary place to pray. The concept of prayer observed in Jesus' model so impacted the disciples that they asked Jesus to teach them how to pray and Paul later wrote to the Thessalonians' that they needed to pray without ceasing. The disciples caught the value of prayer. Jesus did not teach it! He lived it! Yes, I know He taught them upon their request how to pray, but what changed their lives was the way He modeled prayer. It is amazing how the disciples always knew where to find Him in His solitary place. Even the crowds knew where to go and look.

The things that tend to stick in our lives are best caught more than taught. The lesson tends to happen without us ever knowing we just walked into a life transforming moment. I envision DongMin expecting his beautiful bride to give him a kiss each time she leaves the home just like my Greg does with me. A life habit caught not taught. Greg and I never intended to teach DongMin the value of a good greeting, but our habit taught him this life lesson. As we move into the Christmas season, I wonder how many life-transforming lessons he will catch from us. What will he learn about our love for the LORD? How we celebrate Him as our Savior in a materialistic world?

What lessons will others catch from your life habits? What are some lessons or habits have you caught? Which ones are worthy of keeping and which ones should you let go of?

Father, please help us to be mindful that others catch more from what they observe in our daily habits than we realize.

I wonder does "mmmt, mmt" translate the same way in Korean as it does English.

"Man cave" (a hole in our basement that is set apart for men to watch football and play guy games without women bothering them). I just realized that this is another life habit he is taking back to Korea from our home!



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