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Act Like a Child

Posted by Alyssa Pete on

Adulthood is boring. Yet for so long, I craved it. I craved the freedom, the responsibility, the independence, the control over my own life. In my short time as an adult, I’ve learned that all the things I craved can easily become distractions from – even barriers to – something so much more important. 

While preparing for VBS, I read through Jesus’ interactions with children during his ministry, through many amazing miracles performed, and through a tender moment when Jesus welcomes the little children to him to pray over them.
“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’” Matthew 19:14

Not long before this moment, the disciples ask who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And Jesus answers: 
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3-4

These passages come at a time when Jesus is teaching about the upside-down kingdom. He speaks against greed and selfishness and power, things it is easy as an adult to want, even subconsciously. Instead, Jesus preaches mercy and forgiveness and servanthood; that the greatest is the least, and children exemplified that. 

Yet when I read these verses, I think of all the other ways children exemplify qualities we are called to have. 
  • They are joyous. Telling a story, going outside, the play park ball pit, all bring wide smiles and laughter to the kids. 
  • They are helpful. So many of them stop what they’re doing when asked to help set up snack, turn off the lights, or grab supplies for an activity.
  • They are curious. Eager to understand the Bible stories, even to understand broader theological concepts like the trinity, kids aren’t afraid to ask questions.
  • They are grateful. When closing in prayer, I ask the kids what they want to thank God for and so often it is simple things in life – their snacks, their friends, their toys, their family. 
  •  They are reliant. When in need of anything, kids quickly turn to their parent, grandparent, or teacher for help.
I wonder what my life could be like if I truly acted like God’s child. If I found joy in the small things throughout my day; if I helped others quickly and without hesitation; if I was eager to learn things I didn’t know; if I more often thanked God for what He has already given me; if I relied on Him for everything. 
Adulthood would be a little less boring, and I would be able to focus on what is truly important: my relationship with my Heavenly Father. 

I’m so grateful to step into the role of Children’s Director and spend more time teaching the kids at Greater Portland, but also be so consistently reminded of what it means to be a child. I hope to act like one.

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