We have always told our children they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up. My five year old has a wide variety of interests and some days he wants to go to Africa and save the Cheetahs and other days he wants to clean other people's homes, and still other days he wants to teach music at night while working as a vet during the day. I sigh every time my son says a long list of things he would like to be or do when he grows up and my husband throws in, "You can also be a priest." Now don't get me wrong. I have a lot of respect for our clergy and for the men and women who choose to be priests, brothers, or nuns. But every time my husband says, "You can also be a priest" my mind fast forwards 20 years and I see my son serving the church without a wife or family of his own. I just don't want my son to miss out on the joys of having a family. But whether or not he has a family is not my choice, but his own. And who am I to disagree with God's calling?
Just the other day my son had the following conversation with my husband:
B: "When I grow up I want to be a priest, but I don't want to be a priest like Monsignor Paul" (our current priest at our parish).
Hubby: "Why's that?"
B: "I want to be a priest like St. Paul. I want to travel around the world and tell people about God."
Again, who am I to disagree with God's calling? I am often in awe of the things my son says. For him to distinguish the difference between a parish priest and a missionary priest is just amazing to me. And then to determine which one he would like to emulate. Oh, and not to mention that he is even aware of St. Paul? It.Blows.My.Mind!
I think my dear Boogie Monster is a sensitive soul and a bit of a philosopher and soon to be theologian. He loves the Narnia series and has finally listened to the last of the books on CD. His response to the last book? "I think that Earth is a shadow of what Heaven is like."
I look forward to hearing the other ideas that Boogie has to share with us. I must remember to still my own thoughts and to truly listen to this great little philosopher. He has so much to share and I'll miss it if I move too fast.
As a dear friend said to me the other day as I shared Boogie's thoughts of being a missionary priest, "The World will be his Church." Amen.