It's just a shame that we "grow up" and forget how to live like a child. We forget to be caught up in the moment of something that seems mundane, but is so interesting(Like splashing in water or running around the in the rain) because we have so many important things to do. Seeing a bird in flight or a lady buy on the leaf no longer causes us happiness because we are too busy to see it. We are so busy getting ready and rushing out the door that we forget to say good-bye and kiss our loved ones. Something happens to us that jades us and makes us unable or unwilling to have a child-like outlook on life. We have been burned too many times or have too many obligations. Think about it: Our children rarely worry about food or clothes because they know their parents will provide them. They can focus on important things, like building with blocks, playing in Pla-Doh or creating a fortress out of boxes. There is wonderment and joy because they are waited down by responsibilities.
This past Sunday, I was reminded of that child-like wonderment as we baptized Lance Dopp. If you have talked to Lance in the past month, you have seen a young man who is excited about life and will talk to you about Jesus with unabashed enthusiasm. As we prepare for his baptism, he wasn't shy but thrilled to confess to others that Jesus is his Savior and Lord. Sunday was a huge day for him and I am so proud of his family and the Hillcrest family for making that day special for him. It is truly a day he will never forget. His smile is electric and his enthusiasm contagious. Lance isn't a perfect young man, he is just enjoying the incredible peace Jesus has brought into his life.
We could learn a lesson from Lance. We could learn to be excited about our face. We need to beam the joy Jesus has given us from our smile. We need to greet total strangers with kindness because Jesus has changed our heart. Others may be jaded and selfish, but we have been set free. I am amazed at how often I fall into the trap of being a responsible adult (i.e., a boring, introverted, self-absorbed Christian) rather than a wonder-filled child(i.e., a grace filled follower of Jesus). I get too caught up in my own little world and my plan for the day. My agenda sets the tone, so I am busy accomplishing what I think needs to be done. So I miss out on the wonder God has in store for me because God won't grab me by the collar and make me look. He drops little miracles in front of me, hoping I will stop and be thrilled. But I just rush on past because I have such important work to be done. I could walk right by you in the store and never even notice you if I am focused on finding something in that store. Another opportunity blown.
I want to be like what Jesus said in Luke 18:16: "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it". Wow! Jesus doesn't tell us to be childish, which is self-centered. He tells us to be childlike: Full of wonder, amazement and trust.
Do you remember what I said about our children being free to play? They are free to play because they don't worry about food or clothes, because they know Mom and Dad will take care of that for me. I worry too much about those things that my Heavenly Dad has said He would take care of for me. He told me in Matthew 6:33 to seek Him and His Kingdom first and He will provide my needs. I think I will try that this week. I think I will attempt to slow down and check out the amazing miracles God has placed in my path. I may not finish my list each day, but I will be more refreshed and at peace. I will see my faith develop and grow as I see God's unmistakeable handprints on my life. I will feel the nudge of His Holy Spirit and the love of His son in ways I usually miss.
Do you want to join me? Let's take a lesson from Lance and live today in the pleasure and giddiness of loving God