Seeing The World Through a Son's Eyes

Ashley Freeman is a senior in the Master of Divinity program at Seminary of the Southwest.  Ashley, his wife Annie, and their three children come to the seminary from the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast.

Last weekend I traveled with my 10-year-old son to a friend’s ordination in Kansas. During the trip, we talked about many different topics. However, my favorite conversation during the ten-hour drive was about zombies. More specifically, the conversation centered on the kind of vehicle I would want during the zombie apocalypse.

“Dad, what kind of car would you want in the zombie apocalypse? Any kind of car you want with any kind of weapon, and I mean anything, light sabers, chainsaws, lasers . . . anything? It doesn’t even have to be real; you can just make it up. What would you want?”

My answers to this question led to a very long conversation regarding my choices, and why they were not the best options: “Dad, a Hummer doesn’t get very good gas mileage and it would be hard to find gas to refuel it; flamethrowers wouldn’t stop the zombies fast enough; and you can’t accurately aim guns mounted on the hood, you would be dead in a week.”

Our conversations went on in this manner for almost an hour and we came back to this question several times throughout the weekend. As I have reflected on our trip, “Sabbath” has continued to enter my thoughts. At first glance, Sabbath and zombies may not seem related and they probably aren’t. However, during our conversation about zombies I gained a deeper understanding of my son’s point of view. I began to understand why my vehicle and weapon choices were not very good ones. I was able, if only for an instance, to see the world from his perspective. This change of perspective has led me to an insight regarding the Sabbath.

The Sabbath is a time of intentional rest in which we are called to spend time with God through worship, prayer, and meditation. Often, we think of Sabbath as simply rest. However, the rest we take is aimed at a higher purpose. The change of perspective I received during the zombie conversation was a result of rest. By resting my usual thoughts and concerns and engaging the conversation by using my imagination in a different way, I was able to see my son’s perspective with a new, fuller understanding. This is true for Sabbath rest as well.

When we rest from our usual patterns of life and engage in worship, prayer, or meditation, we begin to see the world from a different perspective. We begin to gain insights into the Holy that are only possible with rest, and we begin to see the world from God’s perspective.

May this Father’s Day be a day of rest and new perspective; and may this perspective deepen your relationship with God and improve your chances of surviving the zombie apocalypse.