Church inspiration from a 6-year-old


The little boy sitting in front of me in church last week was an inspiration. He entered the pew, knelt down and folded his hands in prayer. Then he sat quietly through the service. He was probably 6-years-old.

I did that, too, when I was 6. But not because of any pious motivation. My uncle, who took me to church, promised me candy if I would sit quietly and behave myself. Candy? How could I refuse?

After the service was finished, one of my uncle’s friends complimented me for being “such a perfect little gentleman.” Candy and compliments? Heady wine indeed. I could hardly wait for next Sunday.

In high school, I went to whatever church the girl I was dating at the time attended. I was a perfect gentleman then, too, especially if I thought it would buy me some brownie points with the girl – or with her parents, who were usually sitting in the same pew.

During my military service attendance at religious ceremonies was mandatory. I was a perfect gentleman then, too, for obvious reasons.

At sea, the service was held on the deck at the back of the ship. It got pretty interesting when the seas were a little high and the ship rolled a lot. It’s hard to be a gentleman when the chaplain is skidding across the deck with his hands held upward in prayer.

In the Philippines, we held church services in the officers’ club right next to the bar where the bartender was busy setting up for the day’s revelry. It was hard to be a gentleman then too.

I still sit quietly in church today. But now I try to remember the reason I’m there. I recently was reminded of that by a 6-year-old boy.