The Trouble with a Mini-Me

Posted: August 27, 2009 in Uncategorized

Luke 1:59-60 On the eighth day, they came to circumcise the child and were calling him Zachariah after his father. But his mother intervened: “No. He is to be called John.” “But,” they said, “no one in your family is named that.” They used sign language to ask Z what he wanted him named. Asking for a tablet, Zachariah wrote, “His name is to be John.” That took everyone by surprise. Surprise followed surprise – Zachariah’s mouth was now open, his tongue loose, and he was talking, praising God!

This story is so interesting in light of many discussions I’ve had recently with spiritual leaders about the church and the way it relates to the next generation. I think our default understanding of parenting is, “Create another me. A me junior – only better.” On a corporate level, we do exactly that same thing. Because the next generation looks so aimless and strange, it’s easy to equate loving them to Jesus, with loving them to the way that I am. We are trying hard to follow and become like Jesus, so it just makes sense that we would want to lead others to that same place in the same way.

In this story, God doesn’t want to birth a second Zachariah, He wants to birth a first John. And not only is John’s name different…his whole life is different. It’s wild and wooly and totally different than the sedate, quiet, temple lives of his parents. He moves outside the temple….I think he has to in order to get people away from the religious restraints of the day. His words lure them to search for more.

Still, it was Zach and Elizabeth’s obedience that created John and helped prepared him for his future. They were a part of it…but then they had to let go and trust God’s very unique work in their son to take him places that they probably would not have chosen to go.

It’s hard to think that the way God led me and the things He used to break and build my heart, would not necessarily be the same things that He would use for my children. I had a moment in my childhood when the song “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing” just hit my heart and – truly – changed my life. It was an encounter with the Holy Spirit that I can’t describe and it still brings me to tears. I am praying for many such encounters for my children, but I know that those meetings with their God will not have my name on them. They will be designed for them by the One who knows who they are and how they tick and – most importantly – where they’re going with their lives. My best gift to them, I think, is to love them relentlessly, teach them the unchanging truth of the Word, and keep directing their attention to Jesus saying, “Isn’t He just incredible?”

Hmm. Big topic for a small day.

Much love,


  1. Wow, Bo, that was really awesome. Thanks so much for sharing that.

  2. ci says:

    No kidding it’s a big topic! What an excellent and hard truth. You know me too well, don’t you Bo? I just know me and my story so well, it’s hard to think outside of this tiny litttle box of my life and to understand that mighty God could reach and teach my kids in totally different ways. I talk about the need and wisdom of letting go a lot….it’s just so hard to truly walk it out. Thanks for the reminder…the big picture…and the encouragement!

  3. Ann Dunagan says:

    wow. that’s good.

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