Written by Sue Bohlin
A mother camel and her baby camel are talking one day when the baby
camel asks, "Mom, why do I have these huge three-toed feet?" The mother
camel answers, "So when we trek through the desert your toes will help
you stay on top of the soft sand." A few minutes later the baby camel
asks, "Mom, why do I have these great big long eyelashes?" The mother
camel says, "To keep the sand out of your eyes on trips through the
desert." After a little while he says, "Mom? Why do I have these big old
humps on my back?" "To help us store water for our long treks across
the desert, so we can go without drinking for long periods." The baby
camel answers, "That's great, Mom. So we have huge feet to stop us from
sinking in the sand, and long eyelashes to keep the sand out of our
eyes, and these big humps to store water, but Mom?" "What?" "What are we
doing in the San Diego zoo?"
We parents have a similar challenge in today's culture. Our kids come
equipped for an eternal, supernatural, transcendent kind of life--but
they live in a world that doesn't recognize it. We have the important
task of worldproofing our kids--preparing them to be in the world but
not of it, helping them avoid being squeezed into the world's mold.
One way is to raise some basic questions that Lael Arrington suggests in her book Worldproofing Your Kids.
One question is, Who makes the rules? We need to help our kids
understand that there are only two answers to that question. Either God
makes the rules, or man makes the rules. We can point out the
orderliness of traffic patterns because someone else has decided that
red means stop and green means go. We can talk about what it would be
like if everybody made up their own traffic rules. We can watch videos
together like Alice in Wonderland and Lord of the Flies that show what
happens when anybody and everybody can make the rules.
Another important question is, Where Did We Come From? This isn't
about sex and the stork, but about creation and evolution. Either God
made us because He loves us, or we are nothing more than an accident in
an uncaring universe. My pastor has a routine with his kids. He asks,
"How EVER did I get so blessed to be your daddy and get you for a son?
His kids answer, "Because God gave me to you!" Jeff's kids know God made
them, and that they are God's gift to their father.
A third question to talk about with our kids is, Why am I here? We
have the awesome privilege of casting a vision for them for their part
in the larger story of life, one that involves a planning and purpose
for their lives, a calling from God to play their specially designed and
gifted part. We can tell our kids that there isn't anybody quite like
them in the whole world, and God has a part for them that will bring joy
and fulfillment because they're doing what they were created for.
Our privilege as parents is to teach our kids that they were created
for God and for heaven, not for this world. Just like camels were
created for the desert and not the zoo.