This afternoon while I was hanging up laundry, I was surprised when our four year old came into the laundry room with an armful of DVDs. I was not surprised to see that she wanted to watch a movie, but what did catch me off guard was her line of questioning. She started going through them one at a time, asking, “Does Jay Jay glorify God?” “”Does Noah’s Ark glorify God?” “How about The Hugglers? Does this one glorify God?”
I was surprised by her vocabulary; I don’t think I have ever put that question to her. We have turned a movie or tv show off if we found that it didn’t merit a yes answer, and we have had these conversations with our older children, but apparently I have underestimated this child’s capacity for understanding and responding to theological matters.
As I was standing there hanging up shirt after shirt, and answering again and again the same tiny voiced question, “Does this one glorify God?”** I realized anew that it is exactly that question I need to be asking myself when I am faced with choices. Sometimes the choices are as simple and unrehearsed as where I will spend time, or how I will spend money. Often the choices are fleeting, but more complex in execution and ramifications – deciding about how I will respond to a person or a situation. But in each situation, I need to be as intentional as my four year old was, repeatedly asking that same little question: does this glorify God?
The Westminster Shorter Catechism opens like this:
Q: What is the chief end of man?
A: Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
Glory and joy. I like that answer.
**I was really curious what our little seminarian thought it meant to glorify God, since we have not discussed this directly. When she asked me about a favorite show, I turned it back to her.
Q: What do you think? Do you think this one glorifies God?
A: Oh, yes.
Q: What makes you think so?
A: When the dog is sad, the others come and keep it company. They love the one who is sad.