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March 16, 2016
Have you ever watched children interact and play? Have you observed them in their own environment without any adult influence? Their natural habitat ha-ha. One of my favorite things to do is watch my son and daughter play together especially when they have no idea I’m there. It’s in those moments that I feel they are completely and truly themselves and it’s amazing to watch them create their own thoughts. It’s also in those moments that I begin to wonder what effect my own influence is having on them. Of course, without a doubt, they need my love and attention but I wonder if my adult traits and mannerisms are encouraging them to grow up too fast? When they’re alone they can’t hear me tell them what to do and how to do it. It’s amazing how much I catch myself saying “don’t do this” and “don’t do that”. “Don’t be mean to your brother” and “don’t hit your sister.” DON’T. DON’T. DON’T. NO. NO. NO. I’ve realized that sometimes I just need step back and let them figure things out for themselves. I find myself stepping in even when I’m not needed. I wonder if I need to stop being so controlling and just give them an opportunity to put into action the lessons I’ve spent years teaching them? Be kind. Share. Say thank you. No, they probably won’t do the right thing every time and I realize that’s something I’m going to have to be ok with.
The other day my daughter told my son that he couldn’t play with her and she shut her door on him. This isn’t the kind of behavior I allow and so I got upset but before I overreacted I stopped myself. Just in time. I thought, “what’s the big deal? She just wants to play alone right now.” Then I hear my son knock on her door and say, “please la-la”. (My son still can’t say “Elliana” so he just calls his sister “lala”.) I felt so bad for my son but somehow managed to stay out of it. Just then my daughter opens the door and says, “I’m sorry Cruz”. I was shocked! These situations usually end up with them fighting or crying and I always have to interject myself and become the mediator. So you can understand how proud I was to watch them work the situation out on their own. This may sound silly to some of you but read this with me:
Jesus is telling us plainly that taking on the innocence and humility of a little child will make one great. Funny how the least in our eyes is the greatest in God’s. People want to be like billionaires, rock stars, actors, athletes but how often do you hear someone say they want to be like a child. A child is humble and forgives quickly and those are traits God desires in us.
A few weeks ago I had a very rough day. I was angry and taking it out on my daughter. I was mean and short with her all day long and yet, when I put her to bed that night, she hugged me and said, “goodnight, mom. I love you.” I walked out of her room feeling horrible. After a full day of my bad attitude she still showed me love. I closed her door, stood there, and began to cry. In that moment I could feel God speaking to me through my daughter. He began to show me how I act poorly in situations that are out of my control. So, still crying, I went back into her room, knelt down by her bed, and asked her to forgive me for all that I did that day. Of course, it was no big deal to her. It was something to the effect of, “Oh that. I’m ok. Of course I forgive you.” Do you see how we adults can learn from children here? Do you see what Christ meant when he said to become like a little child?
As adults, we carry so much baggage but children are starting off fresh. Children have a simple faith. The just know we are going to take care of them and that’s how it should be. My kids know they will be fed and have a roof over their heads while they sleep. Even when the budget is tight and providing gets difficult they look to us and know that somehow it will all be taken care of. Children are humble and eager to learn and year by year create their own dispositions. We adults have become so weary of everyone and everything. We lack that simple trust and faith. I’m not saying we should be naïve but I am saying we should heed the words of Christ. That we should turn from our sins and become like little children. We need to be born again. I admit this can be hard to comprehend but when we observe the nature of a child it becomes much clearer. We need to start fresh. We need to renew our minds and daily ask God to help us overcome the pains of life. Let’s trust in God our father and have faith in Him like a child does in a good parent. Look to God to satisfy your every need. Let’s humble ourselves and know that God has our best interest at heart. He knows what he’s doing.
“Anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven”.