Monday, August 07, 2006

"And En-Uk walked with God..."

The Prophet Enoch:
Not to be conflated with my son En-Uk.
(Depicted by the Scholars at Crystalinks)

This past weekend, my wife went to a conference on Korean teaching, leaving to me the joys of parenting our two kids on my own.

Knowing the importance of "quality time," I persuaded them to visit a bookstore on Saturday afternoon. Seven-year-old En-Uk was easier to convince because he recalled a previous visit to the same bookstore, where he had enjoyed an exhibit on ants. Nine-year-old Sa-Rah, at first resistant to what she knew would be 'educational,' finally acceded to my proposal ... perhaps swayed by the promise of air conditioning for these dog days of Korea.

The air conditioning nicely relieved the heat, En-Uk found his ant exhibit, Sa-Rah succumbed to the temptation of 'edutainment' in the guise of Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and I -- elated by my afternoon of successful parenting -- treated the three of us to dinner at a nearby Outback Steakhouse that expanded our waistlines but constricted my wallet.

Having overspent our budget, as too often happens when my wife's not along to keep us in line, and stricken by conscience, we three contrite offenders attended church the next morning as penance.

At least, I did. Neither Sa-Rah nor En-Uk appeared particularly penitent. Rather the opposite. They wanted to skip the sermon and play outside in the sunshine or at least downstairs in the fellowship area. I said "No" in my big authoritative father's voice, but agreed that En-Uk could sit off by himself in the upper balcony.

That didn't last very long. I soon became aware of a loud kid's voice from on high, and not long after that, an adult's finger was tapping on my shoulder to let me know that En-Uk was "being disruptive" in the balcony. I went up there, extracted him from his chair, and marched him to my pew, only to then confront Sa-Rah's desire to sit alone in the balcony. I vetoed that proposal but gave her and En-Uk paper and pen to amuse themselves. The amusement, however, ended when the paper supply failed. They wanted more paper, but this would require a trip to the foyer, so I vetoed that proposal as well. The two conferred and agreed that Sa-Rah needed to visit the toilet. I observed her little song and dance with undisguised skepticism but agreed to let her go. She returned with paper, which I ignored to avoid more disruption.

Finally able to relax and listen to the sermon, I turned my attention to the minister, who was precisely at that moment getting to the crux of his message, and I heard him quote Genesis 5:22:
"And Enoch walked with God."
En-Uk, thinking that he'd heard his name, abruptly stopped drawing and looked up with interest and a smile. The minister repeated the words and continued in an accent that really did pronounce "Enoch" as "En-Uk":
"And En-Uk walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years."
En-Uk's smile broadened. Sa-Rah snorted. I looked stern. The minister again repeated and continued:
En-Uk walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.
En-Uk, who already speaks precociously of his intention to have 15 children, smiled even more broadly. Sa-Rah outright laughed. My own stern facade broke, and I coughed to choke back a chuckle -- which tickled Sa-Rah even more. En-Uk now laughed, but the minister wasn't deterred:
And all the days of En-Uk were three hundred sixty and five years: And En-Uk walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
At that point, seeing that the sermon was going to be 'En-Uks' all the way down -- and knowing that I'd soon be laughing outright myself -- I turned to my kids and urgently whispered, "Go! Go down to the fellowship area and play!"

They went.

What else could I do? Obviously, God wanted them to laugh and play, and who am I to argue with the Supreme Author of all things bright and beautiful?

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8 Comments:

At 10:53 AM, Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

Hilarious, Jeff

 
At 10:59 AM, Anonymous Nathan B. said...

I was just about to use that same h-word. I enjoyed this entry immensely!

 
At 11:08 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Michael W-W, that must be why you're laughing...

Good to see you again. I guessed our paths would cross again sometime.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 11:10 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Nathan, you've got to work more on your vocabulary and find some synonyms for that h-word!

Jeffery Hodges

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At 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoy reading everything you write, but most fond of the stories about my niece and nephew.

Tim

 
At 1:54 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Tim. I sometimes see Arkansas addresses on my sitemeter, but I never know who's visiting.

Do you actually read this stuff regularly?

Jeffery Hodges

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At 6:23 PM, Anonymous Nathan B. said...

You're right, Jeffery. While I'm thinking, I thought I'd ask if you've heard John Rutter's music for the words of the hymn you mentioned. It's quite a lovely little piece, although it's very different from the organ melody you linked to.

 
At 7:53 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Nathan, I probably have heard it because I seem to have heard at least two different versions.

The name "John Rutter," however, is not familiar to me.

Jeffery Hodges

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