“How was youth group today?” Dad asked Morenike as the family walked to the car after service.
“Fine. I guess,” Morenike replied.
“You guess?” Mom smiled. “That doesn’t sound very convincing.”
Morenike smiled back. “It was good, but there’s something I don’t quite understand.”
“Uh-oh, here comes the philosopher again,” laughed Debo, Morenike’s twin brother. “Ouch!” He rubbed the spot on his arm that Morenike elbowed as she buckled herself in.
“Our youth pastor preached about Matthew 17:21, where Jesus said that certain things can only be accomplished by prayer and fasting,” Morenike said. “Does that mean God will only take us seriously if we fast? I mean, for the really big stuff.”
“That’s an interesting question,” Dad said, pulling out of the parking lot. “What’s even more interesting is that another translation of that verse has Jesus saying that certain things can only be accomplished when we take God seriously.”
“Right, “Mom chimed in. “God listens to us when we tell Him anything, whether big or small. So, it isn’t a matter of God taking us seriously, but whether we are as focused on Him as He is on us.”
“But what does food have to do with it?” Morenike asked. “If food is bad and doesn’t allow us to take God seriously, then Debo is in trouble because he eats like a horse!”
“I’m a growing boy,” Debo protested. “I need to eat!”
“True,” Dad laughed. “I ate a lot when I was a teenager as well. But fasting isn’t just about food, you know. It’s about exchanging our hunger for one thing with a hunger for God, which opens up our hearts to be filled with His presence. That really means to take a break from anything occupies our minds and hearts and distract us from time with God.”
“Like social media,” Mom said.
“Now you’re the one who’d be in trouble, social media Queen!“ Debo smirked at his sister.
“Both of you play nice,” Dad said, looking in the rearview mirror.
“When you see or hear about God doing great things in and through people, you usually hear about how they love God and give Him priority in their lives.” Mom said.
“Yes, like the missionary we learned about last week,” Morenike said. “Thank you for helping me understand. I think I’ll turn off my devices for the rest of the day and focus on talking with God.”