Sometimes, I am embarrassed to be an adult. When I look around at my fellow “grown-ups” I see that many of us are just a tick off when it comes to what life is really about. We’re missing something – forgotten a crucial part of living. Let me explain…
Tonight I was at a graduation for 24 preschoolers. These are 4 and 5 year olds, boys and girls, from traditional and “non-traditional” families. (I’m not even sure what those phrases mean anyway…) Kids who have great families, and kids whose families have “issues.” (Again, don’t we all?) What I saw was 24 kids who all loved each other. They loved learning. They memorized scripture and they prayed – out loud and in front of about 150 people.
Last week, I saw kids at a church revival and they were actually EXCITED about memorizing scripture and Bible facts. They were eager to learn “church stuff” and now know more than me.
In both situations, I saw kids eager, hungry for and knowing that learning about God’s Word is exciting and important. I saw kids sharing what they have learned with others. And I saw kids actually SHOWING GODS LOVE TO EACH OTHER, regardless of their family background.
When did we grown-ups forget about all that? Lots of us go to church and go to Sunday School. We even serve on committees and give our tithes and invite people and wear cross necklaces and … However, I think so many of us have lost the excitement and the eagerness to learn, absorb and memorize God’s messages for us. We’ve lost the excitement to share and love. We’ve lost something.
These kids couldn’t wait to tell people the new scripture they learned. When is the last time I even memorized something from the Bible?
These kids smiled from the inside out as they stood in front of a room full of people and spoke. What’s our response when people ask us to even make an announcement at church?
These kids were excited to see their friends, hugged one another and were sad to think that they might not be in the same class anymore. How does my face look when I see someone I know at the store?
When I looked at those children, I saw excitement. I saw caring. I saw concern. I saw love. I saw Jesus.
When people look at me, a grown-up Christian, what do they see? I’m embarassed to say, I think they often see a tired, frustrated person who sometimes hides in another aisle when I see people I know at the store. Memorizing scripture is a chore, no longer something I celebrate by running up to someone and sharing it with them. And sadly yes, sometimes, I get a little excited when I think that I might not have to see certain people anymore.
No wonder people don’t want anything to do with church anymore. If I looked at me, the grown-up Christian, I don’t know that I would either.
It takes times like this evening, a simple preschool graduation, to remind me that life with God is exciting. Learning scripture and memorizing God’s Word is something to share with others. And heck, if a 4 year old can pray out loud in front of a bunch of adults, most of whom they don’t know, why shouldn’t we be able to?
As adults, we let religion complicate faith. We need to get back to the simple and enthusiastic faith of a child. We are to love with abandon and put His Word “down, down, deep.”
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:1-4)