Yesterday I went to church. I took the children. But, it wasn’t the Orthodox Church — it was the church of secular humanism. Yes, that’s right, I took the children to the museum of Nature and History.
First, we went to the “Space” exhibit, which, admittedly to this old science-fiction nut, was pretty darned cool. I sat and watched, to the kids annoyance, about ten minutes of amazing video of the many amazing pictures sent back from the Mars rovers — the video scrolled over some immense panorama shots that were breathtaking. But, of course, none of this was presented as an awe-inspiring view into the creation of God, rather, it was presented in a “look how smart we humans are, we’re virtually gods!” sort of way. Ironic, considering the little bits of the universe we’ve touched are so infinitesimal. I began to wonder if God gave us the universe just to help us remember our place and how ineffable He really is.
After this, we took a sojourn to the observation deck on the roof and enjoyed the view of downtown and the Rocky Mountains. Immediately following, we were off to the Native American exhibit. As we entered, there was a video with a message of “Welcome” playing in many of the native languages, which was very cool. However, next to this was a map of the Americas with type set in white overlaying it that read something like “We are all the same” (not the exact phrase, but close). If this were really true in the context of a museum, why the heck would I care to enter the exhibit? While trying to sound inclusive in a context that made little sense, the museum actually denigrates the entire history, traditions, and culture of these wonderful people. The rest of the exhibit was actually very nice, and the maps, rugs, baskets, and and pottery gave me the chance to explain to the kids that this was more than the past, that there were people who lived now only slightly differently than this. I was able to tell them about some of the pueblos I have been invited to, and some of the Native American friends I’ve had back when I was working in northern New Mexico. I enjoyed the whole exhibit very much, it brought back more than a few good memories.
Of course, William, almost six, wanted to see the dinosaurs. It wasn’t until we entered the exhibit and were ushered to our seats for the video that I started to remember about this part of the museum. (Shields up! Red Alert!) The video started up and we received the lecture about how we are all created from random junk in a pool that was hit by lightning and UV rays. Science fiction indeed. Well, after the video I skillfully navigated them past the evolutionist creation mythology sections and to the actual dinosaur bones. Now, I’m not one who is going to argue over the age of the earth. However, I have zero doubt that God is her creator. The random junk-in-a-pool theory takes huge leaps of faith to believe, as there is zero science behind the assertion. And these are the same people who would likely complain about I.D. being faith based. Pot, kettle, black.
Anyway. After navigating out past the chimps-became-man proselytization posters, we were as hungry as dinosaurs, so we had lunch at the T-Rex Cafe. Personally, I think my dinosaur burger was tough enough to have been millions of years old. Home was our final destination.
Now, I do enjoy museums most of the time, and this trip was mostly pretty fun. However, I have been entrusted with two beautiful children by God, and the things that are easy for a grown faith to handle raised the hackles on my neck when my children were there. They are jewels to protect.
Last night as I was putting William to bed, we said our prayers. Afterward, he looked up at me.
“Dad?” he said.
“Do you ever feel like not eating, or sleeping, or playing, and just spending all the time praying?” he asked me with a very serious look in his nearly six-year-old eyes.
“That is a beautiful idea, Will,” I said. Really, I’ve never considered such an extreme devotion.
“That’s what I feel like now, Dad.”
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner.