Oh how much we can learn from a child. They have something figured out that I only wish I still had. Simplicity. It’s like you don’t realize the incredible value of it while you have it and then life consumes you, envelopes you, overtakes you and with the loss of your youth comes the loss of that very thing. Simplicity. All of a sudden you must fend for yourself, cook your own meals, pay your own bills and make big girl/boy decisions that require a certain depth of maturity and consideration. My sister Emily is in the midst of transitioning into being a ‘big girl’ right now as she is mulling over what to do post college. As I listen to her, I am reminded of how growing up is such a bittersweet process. It’s funny how at age 1 your biggest concern was who was going to feed you next and at age 10 the biggest decision you made was what friend to invite to your birthday party. Now at age 22+ it’s what to do with your life, where to move, where to live, what’s a Roth IRA and what…I have a car payment and have to do a tax return?!?!? (it’s now 12:06 am on April 15th)
Kids, they have something special. Something I envy and would love to have back. They enjoy a life that is simple and carefree. I think that Jesus was on to something when He said in Mark 10:15 “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” I say ‘on to something’ as if Jesus just happened upon a great idea, as if he was just paving the way but didn’t really know where it led. Well, I don’t mean that at all actually. Jesus knew exactly what He was saying and He knew the truth behind it. I believe He was encouraging us to do three things as we pursue the Lord, all three of which are depicted in the characteristics of a child.
First, I believe He is encouraging us to fully depend on the Lord. A child is COMPLETELY dependent on their parents and this is exactly the way that we should be with our own heavenly Father. We are to look to Him for ALL of our needs as we can be confident that He is the ultimate Provider and Caretaker. Second, we are to trust Him as a child trusts their own father. Children don’t question their parents (well besides an occasional teenage rebellion) but instead they trust in their parents decisions, in their faithfulness, in their ability to provide and in the consistency of their love. They trust them unconditionally and without question. They need them and they rely on them fully, confident that they are trustworthy to deliver. Last but not least, I think Jesus is calling us to keep it simple. As the people closest to me can tell you, I AM NOT AN EXPERT ON THIS! In fact, if it were a class in college, I’d fail. Yep, flat out flunk. Get my first below B grade. Unless of course you take into account my perfectionist nature and then I might make it work but I digress…The point is that I don’t have this figured out but I’m trying to learn how to have the faith of a child. To stick to the majors and keep the minors minor. To resolve to ‘know nothing but my Jesus and Him hanging on the cross.” This does not mean that I don’t wrestle with the hard truths of the Word, but at the end of the day, I want to cling to what I know is true. Christ and Him crucified. I allow the Lord to work through my simple trust in Him.
So, here is to entering the Kingdom of God as a little child, fully dependent, fully trusting in His goodness and with a determination to keep it simple.
(I took these pictures of some of our Director’s kids at K1 Kanakuk Leadership Weekend last week. They are BEAUTIFUL children and such a good reminder of having the faith of a child. Kids are my favorite to photograph since they are so sweetly candid and completely unaware of ‘how they look.’ The authenticity of it is too good to be true!)