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. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
The night after the movers came and cleared all of our stuff out of our old house, a friend messaged to say she’d be stopping by with her toddler. It was a few days before Halloween, and she wanted to show us his spider costume.
And go, he did!
With the house empty, there was nothing but wide-open spaces, so our little friend started running circles throughout the house. The grown-ups, of course, continued our conversation about all of the very important things grown-ups are always talking about: weather, sports, work, pop culture, etc.
Meanwhile our little friend kept running around the house. And then, he started screaming, because why not scream in an empty house that has an epic echo, right?
The running and screaming got our attention. We stopped talking and watched him. The more I watched the more I laughed. “Man!” I thought to myself, “kids sure know how to have fun!”
Then I remembered I was in my own empty house and what rules were there against running around in circles while screaming in your own house? None. Zero. Nada. Zilch. That’s how many rules there are against that.
So, I got up and started running around in circles and screaming too. I followed the little guy’s lead, and he thought it was the best thing ever. He added laughter to the running and screaming, and so did I.
Before long, we were all running around in circles, screaming at the top of our lungs, and laughing out loud. Then, we were on the floor, holding our bellies and crying because we were laughing so hard.
Listen. I know all the admonitions about acting our age and putting away childish things when we grow up. But childish is not the same as childlike.
We’ve all had our fair share of childishness, haven’t we? But we can never have too much childlike wonder, joy, optimism, laughter, and love.
Something to Think About:
What is the difference between being childish and childlike? Does it matter? Why or why not? What would you add to the list of childlike qualities?
Something to Do:
Do yourself a favor today: run around in circles and scream out loud. Then, leave a comment and tell me what it was like!
Lord, thank you for wonder, joy, optimism, laughter, and love. Amen.