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The Allegory of the Windmill

Today I was driving with my 2 year old son. We drove past a windmill spinning furiously. He said, "Daddy, airplane!" The windmill had a propeller, a thicker than usual body, and a tail fin. I could see why he would think that.

I said, "No, that's a windmill." He looked at me like I was an idiot and said, "No, daddy. That's an airplane." I said, "No. It's a windmill. That propeller spins and it generates electricity." I instantly realized there was a load of concepts outside of his experience: electricity, motors, etc. I tried to regroup. "Planes aren't on poles. That's a windmill." That difference, crucial to an adult, was invisible to a child. It was unmistakable to him: it was a windmill.

Following Christ will take us so far off the beaten path that any attempt to explain our world view to the uninitiated is utter foolishness. It takes knowledge, skill, patience, and a lot of time to persuade. Don't rush into it.