We have quite a bit to learn from our kids, I think. Jesus was on to something when he said, “Let the children come to me . . . for to such belongs the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:14, ESV)
I’m thinking now of last month’s one night camping trip with the kids. My patience with the children has been wearing very thin lately, but I had imagined a nice relaxed time with them—no hurry to do anything in particular, no place to be—but for various reasons it didn’t turn out that way.
Looks idyllic, doesn’t it?
Thursday morning—the morning I met The Sex Patrol Kid—I took the kids out fishing. As great as the picture looks—and as much as I had imagined it just as idyllically—much of my time was spent getting frustrated at Luke (it’s easy to forget that he’s only 3) and yelling. Afterward, I felt quite defeated, like a failure. I’ve apologized to the kids a lot lately—more out of fear that I’ve scarred them somehow than anything else (well, also because I was sorry). Luke got a big hug after fishing.
After we went fishing we phoned home to Dixie. When Luke got on the phone he talked excitedly to Dixie about what we had done so far.
“And we went fishing with Dad!” he shouted into the phone.
The boy was excited. Apparently my angry outbursts were already forgotten by him. Kids are resilient and forgiving. They are fine examples of showing unconditional love. I wish we adults could be the same.
Why does the kingdom of God belong to the children? Because in their best moments they are able to live the kingdom un-self-consciously—in some respects, unwittingly—and without reservation. Adults are not, for the most part, able to do that. Not naturally, anyway.