I remember when I was younger I would take toys apart to put them back together because I wanted to know how they worked. When I couldn’t figure it out by myself, I would approach my father for help and I always walked away with a better understanding of the problem I faced.
Kids naturally seek truth
But my questions were not always about the mechanics of toys, they were also questions that inquire about the nature of reality. I recall asking my parents why death is inescapable and what it was like after death.
Their answers were generously simple and concise: because Adam and Eve sinned, death entered the world. And when we die we’ll hopefully reunite with God.
There is a natural desire in our hearts to want to know the truth; it is because we are created by God and for God, who is Truth Itself. In other words, to borrow St. Augustine’s beautiful observation,
Because God has made us for Himself, our hearts are restless until they rest in Him.
Since He is Truth, we are thus always seeking Truth. However, our thirst for truth is almost always satiated by someone other than ourselves.
To teach the truth, seek the truth
Our education starts at home with our parents, and when we need more specialized training that is beyond the scope of our parents’ abilities then we enter educational institutions. Thus, we are always thirsting for truth and seeking ways to satisfy this thirst.
Yet, while we are seekers of truth, we are also teachers of truth. When our children approach us with questions regarding our faith, it is because they are seeking God. There is an opportunity in that inquiry for us to reveal God to them. My parents revealed God to me when I sought answers to puzzling questions of our faith, and I pray and hope that our children would one day say the same thing about us when asked about their own faith formation.
(John Huynh, Director of Faith Journey formation program, Diocese of Des Moines)