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Beating Monsters With The Cross

A trip back to church and a new book convinced me to spend more time teaching my son about Christ.

Robert Rackley
Robert Rackley
2 min read
A cross against a blue sky.
Image source: Greg Rosenke/Unsplash

The day before President’s Day, I went to church for the first time since last summer. I’ve been watching online, well, religiously, since then, but it was a rare treat to go in and see friends and hear music being played live. Vivaldi on violin with our new sound system (which was desperately needed) alone was worth the trip. We had a congregational meeting afterward, so my stomach was starting to get into growling mode by the time I got home. I was making myself lunch while my youngest was playing a game online with his friends. He kept yelling something like, “get him with the crucifix!” From what I could understand, he was using a crucifix to protect his in-game character from hordes of evil spirits.

I had gone to church alone, and my wife and youngest had gone to my in-law’s apartment to do some things for them, as is their routine every Sunday. When I heard my son yelling about the crucifix, it occurred to me that I’d rather have him in church with me. At least there he could be learning about the True Cross, rather than at home playing video games where the cross is merely a weapon to ward off monsters. I recently picked up Skye Jethani’s book, What If Jesus Was Serious, and had started reading it. Jethani describes the book as a devotional for people who hate devotionals. There were several retweets from Jethani’s Twitter account that were posted by people reading the book with their kids. What I had read of the book seemed a little over the level of a nine-year-old, but that can be mitigated by proper explanation of the concepts while reading. For instance, Chapter 2 focused on comparing ourselves to others when using social media. My son is a bit young for social media. However, the chapter presented us with an opportunity to talk about comparing ourselves to others and how God sees value in even those that people overlook.

I tweeted about my resolution and tagged the author in the tweet. He retweeted my post, and it picked up some decent traction, ending up with over 60 likes, including from Michael Wear, former president Obama’s religion advisor. For some time, I kept my tweets protected because of the fighting on Twitter, but I recently changed the setting back to public. I’ve missed being able to respond to the tweets of those who don’t follow me (you wouldn’t believe how many people fit into that category, despite my occasional witticisms). It feels good to be able to tag someone again when I want to voice support for their work.

Now I’ve got a public statement to hold me accountable to my goal. So far, we've been sticking to the routine. I'm hoping we can both get something out of it.


Robert Rackley

Orthodox Christian, aspiring minimalist, inveterate notetaker, software dev manager and paper airplane mechanic.

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