If you’ve ever met Adam it goes without saying, but just in case, I’ll say it anyway; Adam is super-smart. From the time he was very little he had a knack for figuring things out. OK, so it was usually how to get into something he wasn’t supposed to, but still…
One of his early brainiac conquests came when he was five. We had just made the decision to be a homeschooling family, so were in the process of bringing “smart” things into the house. For some reason I don’t remember, this included getting a wall map of the world. I put it on the kitchen table, then covered it with a clear plastic tablecloth so meals would be educational. (It’s a homeschool thing…) Adam immediately took an interest in the map, asking what the names of various countries were. Within just a few days he had many of the countries in Africa memorized, and requested a map to go on his bedroom wall. Of course I said yes! In less than two months he had a contribution to make for our homeschool group’s Young Scholars’ Night. We brought in a world map and he successfully pointed out and named all of the countries in Africa and South America, in front of a room full of total strangers!
The next year a friend introduced our family to the awesome world of AWANA. It’s a sort of Bible version of a scouting program, where kids memorize Bible verses and such to earn badges, buttons, and “jewels”. By the time we heard about AWANA a couple months of the school year were gone, but Adam enjoyed it so much we let him join anyway, knowing he was a little behind. He was in the Cubbie category of the club, being the preschool/kindergarten branch of the organization. Since he would be in first grade the next year this would be his only year to earn Cubbie badges. Not wanting to miss out on any awards, Adam worked extra hard and memorized all the verses in the first book, did the repeat of the book required before going on to the next one, did the same in the next book, and went on to go all the way through the final Cubbie book. What normally takes two full years to accomplish (which is a ton of memorization) Adam got through in less than one! Here he is after the Awards Night at the end of the year, wearing his Cubbie vest, holding his completed books, certificate of merit, and behind him is the ribbon he got for completing his level. He was SO proud that night!
Adam’s brain caused a lot of pain, too. There was the time he was about four or five and he started a theological discussion by asking, “Mom, God loves everybody, right?”
“That’s right, Adam.”
“And God hates evil, right?”
“So does God love the devil?”
After much head-scratching, stammering, and trying desperately to come up with something wise to say (and hoping it would be truth) I hit upon the perfect answer: “Let’s call Grandpa and ask him!” Funny thing is, Grandpa, who has been teaching adult Sunday School since shortly after Noah built the ark, had exactly the same reaction I did! A few years later when we were visiting Grandma and Grandpa in Oregon Adam chose to sit in on Grandpa’s class with his dad rather than go to a children’s class. Adam’s super brain confounded the masses as Grandpa asked questions of the class based on previous weeks’ lessons, and Adam was ALWAYS the first one (sometimes only one) to raise his hand, always with the correct response. Grandpa and his class of retired ladies were quite impressed!
When you stop to think this is where Adam started his career as a scholar, is it really any surprise that he graduated Bible college with honors? I don’t think so either…