HEART OF A LITTLE CHILD
My family reunion was held at a sleazy bar on the south side of Milwaukee. Our families, young and old, quickly filled the reserved lounge area with noisy conversation, snacks and juice boxes. Upon arrival, the children couldn’t resist the four miniature bowling lanes. They picked up miniature balls weighing approximately 2-3 pounds and slung them down the short lanes.
It warmed my heart to see the 2 1/2 year old listen to Grandma’s instruction, pick up the ball with both hands and push it down the middle of the lane. Slowly the ball rolled down the lane, finally striking the middle pin and knocking all the pins down for a strike. High five’s and cheers delighted this little one as she realized her successful throw.
Several of us noticed one of the 10 year olds throwing frequent gutter balls due to poor technique. She received expert counsel from several of the adults but continued to follow what she thought to be the “right way of doing things.” She wasn’t looking for correction or advice. Her stubborn refusal to at least try a better or different way of handling the ball saddened me. At this young age, she was already deceived into thinking she knew best, at least about bowling.
Despite this momentary sadness, I thoroughly enjoyed our time together engaging in the food, games, laughter and family love. In my thoughts and prayers, I celebrated those young ones who were curious and open to instruction and prayed for those who did not have the same openness. I was reminded of my continued need to come before my Maker with a curious desire and openness to better know Him, His will for me and His way to execute His will.
The children who were successful took the time to look at their teachers, listen to what was instructed and then do what they saw and heard. Young children tend to be better at living in the moment without anxious thoughts about the future. They tend to execute without worrying about what others might think about them. Positive thoughts generate more positive healthy outcomes.
In this game of life, what evil plan might I intercept or what greater blessings might be released if I took more time to look and listen to the Teacher who knows everything? How might the course of a day be more successful for one or many, because I courageously executed the Teacher’s instruction?
About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Which of us is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” Jesus called a small child over to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I assure you, unless you turn from your sins and become as little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. (NLT: Matthew 18: 1 – 5)