[Originally published as Blog: God and the Color Green]
The color green dominated the roadside. Baby cornstalks poked out of the Nebraska ground and new leaves filled the trees. With the warm weather and longer days, the new life of spring filled the landscape. In the backseat behind me, a silent little girl and boy pondered out the window during the drive to school.
Children, God, and the Color Green
I broke the silence. “How do we know God exists?”
Continued quiet and perhaps a six-year-old girl’s mumble of, “I don’t know” emerged from the back seat.
“Because of the color green,” I stated.
Knowing that my five-year-old son just learned about chlorophyll in his kindergarten class, I then asked them what made plants green. He said, “chlorophyll” about as well as five-year-old boy can.
In simple terms, we then discussed what chlorophyll is and what it does. I described to them the process of photosynthesis and chlorophyll turning the energy of the sun into food for plants. Finally, I explained the plant’s food eventually becomes food for animal life and that the whole process is complex and amazing. I stated that this process could not have happened by chance. Someone had to design it. The designer of the process is God.
I concluded with. “So that is why every time we see the color green we can be reminded that God exists.”
A Summer School Lesson
During the summer break that followed, we took a camping trip to Forestville Mystery Cave State Park in Minnesota. The color green stood out in the park. All the trees, grass, and other vegetation sang out with green. The beauty of the park really struck my wife and me.
One afternoon as we drove through the chlorophyll-filled Minnesota woods I asked my kids, “How do we know God exists?” With a little coaxing, they recalled the conversation we had on our drive to school that one spring morning. They remembered that chlorophyll makes food for plants and plants become food for animals. It is a process designed by God
Now that the new school year is here our color green conversation serves as a reminder to me to look for teachable moments. The year’s ride to school will provide many more of them if I only open my eyes.
As Christian parents, we too often look to the church as the primary way our kids will learn about God. We must not make that mistake. We are the primary way, not the church. Let’s make the most of the moments while we have them.