Summer is almost over and school is about to begin. It is amazing how quickly time goes by. I remember when I was a boy how summer was a long time and a day was time enough to do a thousand things. This year has become quite hectic and as I think of summer, school, and children playing, I keep pondering something Jesus said:
“…I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3-4 NIV)
This verse has haunted me for a long time. As I have struggled to be the man God wants me to be, it has convicted me that maybe I am going about things all wrong. I mean Jesus is saying that we should be like our kids, not that our kids should be like us!
The problem I have with living up to this verse is that at forty years old I have so little in common with kids anymore (my wife might disagree). For the past twenty-five years or so, I have worked hard to be an adult (again my wife might disagree). Therefore, as I brooded over all this I have compiled a small list of what some of the differences between my sons and me are.
1.) When it is HOT outside they would rather play in the yard. I prefer the air-conditioned living room.
2.) When thunder cracks in the middle of the night, they wake up. I sleep through it and sometimes add my own snoring chorus.
3.) After I rough house around with them at bedtime, they have trouble falling asleep. I have trouble staying awake.
4.) Rough housing to them is running around like maniacs for extended periods of time. I have to rest after about ten minutes or so.
5.) They are kind of cute when they run around in their underwear. Let us just say I am way past the cute stage.
Seriously, as I observe my children I see several godly qualities. They have an innocence and faith that are wonderful. They often ask me very convicting questions like does so and so believe in Jesus. I usually sputter something like, “I don’t know”. Their reply is, “then why don’t we ask them?”
On a rainy day camping one came up to me and said, “Dad why don’t you ask God to stop the rain?” This is faith that Jesus said could move mountains.
Another time the boys and I were gathering wood for a campfire and it was getting dark. I said to them, “Are you scared?” They point blank said, “No, cause God is with us.”
These are small examples of huge godly attributes that children have. So, as your kids return to school this month, remember that we are often caught up in molding them into “good” little adults. Jesus says that we should learn from them what is required of us to be God’s children.