Sunday, February 20, 2011

Playground Faith

“He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, ‘Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.’” Matthew 18: 2-3

Have you ever gone to a playground and just sat and watched the kids playing? If not, you should, because you can really learn a lot of life lessons doing this. Recently, there was a nice day after months of cold weather and I was at the park with some of my kids. And while I was playing with them and helping them and picking them up, I also found myself unable to not observe the chaos around me. And I realized why God wants us to be like little children.

First of all, little kids go all out. Rarely did I see a kid just sitting there or walking around—and if they were, it was probably from running themselves ragged. Most were running, some with their mouths open screaming for joy and some with a determined look in their eyes. If only we could live our faith with such intensity and vigor.

Secondly, they were not worried. Sure, some of them were more cautious by nature and wouldn’t try some high ladders or go down some “scary” looking slides, but they were not afraid. They knew that someone was looking over them, someone was there to help them, someone was there to comfort them if they got hurt. If only we could live our faith without fear.

Third, they were happy and carefree. They were not burdened with the stress of life. While some of them might have their own little demons, or family problems or hurts, even at their young age, they were able to put them aside and just enjoy the moment. If only we could live our faith with such freedom.

Finally, they were able to reach out to others around them. They talked to other kids they didn’t know, they asked kids to play with them, they exchanged names or dove right into a world of fantasy with one other with ease. They even asked other parents to help them swing or slide if they didn’t see their own parent. They knew instinctively that they would have more fun together then alone. If only we could live our faith with such inclusivity.

Jesus does not call us to be childish, but He does call us to be childlike. Why? So that we can learn to trust Him, to live our faith all out, to reach out to others, to live without fear and to live in authentic freedom. If you are having trouble living with this kind of passion, then spend some time observing at a playground and learn from the innocent, little ones that are so precious to our Lord.

Dear Jesus, give me a childlike faith, that I may totally trust in You and live each day with passion and joy. Amen.

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