Q: My grandson Aiden got an assignment to answer, “What is your duty to God?” He answered to take a shower every day, brush your teeth every day. I reminded him that he did neither every day and he giggled. Could you help us with your understanding what a 7-year-old boy’s duty is to God? – From J
A: Please tell your grandson that I could not get through to God this week. But if I could, this list is I believe, is close to what God might write to Aiden as a list of duties to God for all 7-year-olds:
This is God and I love you, so if you love me these are some of the things I hope you can do for me …
Don’t hurt anybody or anything.
Most of the time you know that you are about to hurt somebody before you even do it. So, before you say something or do something that you know is hurtful, just stop and take a deep breath and ask yourself, “How would I feel if somebody did that to me?” If the answer is, “I would feel lousy!” then don’t do it to him or her. And the same thing goes for hurting the world or animals. The world did not hurt you so don’t hurt it.
Don’t tell a lie unless telling the truth will hurt somebody’s feelings.
I want you to tell the truth almost all the time. The only time I want you to lie is when telling the truth will hurt somebody’s feelings. If your mom just bought a new dress and she asks you, “How do I look in this dress?” even if you think the dress is SO ugly, you should ALWAYS say, “You look great!” Otherwise tell the truth because nobody trusts liars.
Take care of an animal.
Your Grandma didn’t tell me if you have a pet, but if you don’t have one, and if your parents will let you, get one. I like dogs but cats are OK. If you can’t get a dog or a cat, get a bird. If you can’t get a bird, get a hamster. If you can’t get a hamster, don’t get a snake. I made snakes but I don’t know what I was thinking. The reason I want you to have a pet is so that you will learn how to take care of some living thing that needs your help to live. If you can take care of animals you will be able to take of people – no sweat.
Keep your body clean.
I only gave you one body so keep it healthy. Don’t eat junk food and don’t sit around and let your body become weak. You have work to do in the world and you need a good tool to do that work. Your body is your best tool. Keep it sharp.
Don’t cheat on tests.
Being honest is the only way other people will trust you. Cheating on tests is the first way your honesty will be tested. If you cheat on tests you will go on to cheat on other things and pretty soon you won’t remember what it feels like to be honest.
Say please and thank you.
Saying please shows respect for all the adults in your life and all they do for you in your life. Saying thank you is important because it shows you are grateful and thankful for what you get. Also, saying thank you to people is the only way to learn how to pray to me. Prayers are your way to say thank you to me. Your life and your smiles, your courage and your love, your kindness and your breath are my way of saying to you, “You are welcome Aiden. You are very welcome.”
Most of the silly things in life start and end pretty fast, but life does not start and end fast at all so be patient. Movies and TV shows and video games and ball games happen in a few minutes or a few hours, but in life sometimes you have to wait for years for something good to happen. You have to go to school for years and then train to be good at your job for years. You may have to wait years to find somebody to marry you. I am God and I wait millions of years for good things to happen. I have been waiting for you Aiden for almost eight years and you are not grown up yet. So have patience. The best things you can do take time to be real in the world.
That’s enough of a list for now. Go take a shower and brush your teeth. I am with you always. I love you always. I believe in you always.
God Squad: firstname.lastname@example.org