I'm always telling everybody else to stop and notice the Kingdom around you, so I should report when I'm practicing what I preach. Not by any prompting from their Mom or I, but our 2 daughters have reading to do every night anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes. What I think is so cool is that often they choose to read Bible stories for that reading. They can choose anything, and they choose to read the narratives from Scripture. Its just fun to hear and understand the stories from their perspective. Our oldest, Ali, goes about everything at about 157% effort (not sure where she gets that from) :) She just gobbles up all the knowledge in front of her, she has a huge appetite for more all the time.
So last night, I was finishing up grading some exams from my last NT class and behind me Ali is reading at the kitchen table. Then she blurts out "DADDY!!! WHY DIDN'T THE PEOPLE FROM HIS HOMETOWN LIKE HIM????" I shook my head for a minute then realized what she was reading. Jesus reading the scroll in the synagogue in Nazareth of the prophecy of the One who would come and be the Messiah. And then Jesus rolls up the scroll and says that the prophecy is now fulfilled in him. Nazareth rejects him and tries to throw him off a cliff, but Jesus gives them the slip. (By the way, I would love to know exactly what Jesus did to slip away from this mob, I bet it was a story the apostles talked about long after.) So Ali and I had a conversation about Jesus' family and how big his claims were and how hard for those who witnessed him growing up to understand them. I just love that they are taking ownership for reading these stories on their own. I assume they see the Scriptures have an exalted place in their parents' lives and in the lives of the adults in their faith community, and it trickles down to them organically.
One of my mentors in college told me that the definition of an expert is "someone who lives 100 miles away". Isn't that true? We're not impressed with the everyday folk, but we believe the personas of people we really don't know that well. I still believe that the good stuff of the Kingdom is in the ordinary, everyday stuff. Not in the extraordinary experiences, events and programs we could spend all our time doing or trying to create. Of course, its not really an either-or, it is a both-and when it comes to Jesus. You get a lot of ordinary and touches of extra-ordinary.
Ali's ordinary reading I'm banking on having extra-ordinary effects on the ongoing transformation of her heart and mind.