“He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’”– Matthew 18:2-3
We took my son away for the weekend to celebrate his birthday. It was a great celebration of his third year on earth (that’s fancy for saying he turned 3).
We went to the GREAT WOLF LODGE, an indoor water park in Sandusky, Ohio. There are several of these amazing places in different states and I highly recommend it for a weekend getaway for anyone who likes fun!
Anyway, Liam had a blast. He wasn’t afraid of anything. He went down several large water slides, even one he wasn’t supposed to go down, but the lifeguard allowed it since he was with his mom. He even made some great friends along the way.
He met a 9 year old girl who said, “I like playing with him, he’s a pretty cool 3 year-old.” Of course, I agreed. Then, he met twin girls and made friends with them and their mom. Then, he and I were “playing” basketball in the pool when he made friends with these pre-teen boys who kept laughing at his uncanny ability to climb on my shoulders pulling every chest hair possible and bank his shots, I’m still red from where his feet gripped my skin, but it was worth it for his smile and laughter.
He made friends all over the park.
Then, we went to the Sandusky Mall and spent some time at the play area. All of a sudden, I hear laughter and yelling, and there is my son leading a pack of kids in a game of “bad guys and princesses”. I’ve never heard of the game, but judging by the laughter and tackling, it is a game I missed out on.
At one time, I looked over and Liam had tackled a girl and her brother, while growling and saying “I got you!” The pastor side of me was ready to cast out a demon, the boy side of me was cheering him on, but the dad side of me won and I ran over and told him to get off of the kids.
The girl looked up at me and said, “Sir, it is only a game!” To which her brother chimed in, “She is my princess and your son is the bad guy.” I backed off, sincerely apologized for interrupting their activity, and allowed the children to continue playing.
As I watched them play, I couldn’t help but to notice the other adults. I was able to talk to a couple other parents, but overall, most of the other adults kept to themselves and did not participate in conversation.
I then started to question, “Is it me? I’m wearing a World Vision t-shirt with a bible verse on the back. Are they afraid I’m a crazy Jesus guy that won’t let them talk about life? Are they judging my beard? Maybe I have something in my teeth?” Yes, these thoughts and questions went through my mind.
So, I went back to watching my kid run and tackle other kids with so much joy and laughter.
Now, I am reflecting and thinking…“Is this what Jesus meant?”
These kids didn’t question each other about anything. My son asked a simple question, “Do you want to play with me?” The other kids just jumped right in. No questions of political affiliation, religious connection, who or what are you wearing, or why are you asking me to play, do you have another motive? Nothing like that came out of their mouths. They just responded to the question and interacted with each other freely.
Is this why Jesus wanted us to come as little children? So we don’t ask meaningless questions and just jump into playing and living with our God. Maybe?
Perhaps, we should sit back and take notes on how our kids live and wonder why we have allowed ourselves to stop being like them?
I wonder what it would be like if we stopped looking at people based on clothing style, social status, looks, etc. and just start laying and living life with them?
I wonder what would happen if we did the same thing with Jesus? What if we stopped asking questions about who He would let in or keep out, what He might have looked like, etc. and just jumped in because He has asked the question, “Do you want to play?” we just need to get into the game.
May we allow ourselves to live like children. Yes, we need to be adults, mature, and wise, but may we be willing to remain in a childlike attitude to be able to live life with God and with each other.
Christ called the little children to Him and they came with joy. May we come willing to live in that joy as well.
My son showed me so much this weekend, I just hope I can retain it all.
Do you want to play with me?
QUESTION: Do you find it easy to meet new people and make new friends or do you find yourself being reserved and cautious?