Reading and watching the recent world events would make anyone sad and troubled. Mass shootings, earthquakes, violent protests among many other negative occurrences, are enough to cause worry and dread. I watched television pundits yell at each other today over gun laws, read opinion pieces on terrorism, and finally had enough of the ranting and raving and turned it all off. Seems like the only safe and happy channel to watch right now is the Hallmark Channel and its sappy, Christmas love movies.
Then this evening, looking out my study window, I watched my two kids playing outside. They were playing with children much younger than themselves, and one with special needs. Games of tag, hiding behind mailboxes, riding scooters on the sidewalk, and looking at our neighbors’ Christmas lights, all gave me a grateful look inside their world; a place I haven’t been to in years. There was no yelling, no fighting, no judging, no bullying, and no trying to look cool or fit in…just being kids who wanted to play.
As a kid our childhood was full of imaginative games. Christmas time was especially exciting with school parties and knowing that family would be coming to visit along with the big man Santa. We didn’t have to think about a mortgage, a car payment, renewing insurance, and work deadlines. The words “job security” and “terrorism” were completely unknown to us. We were encapsulated in a safe, protected bubble of peace and assurance.
The world they live in is full of danger, but they don’t see it. They only talk of promise and potential. Concerns that we face are ours alone. We shoulder the burden of worry while they plot their Christmas wish list.
Jesus spoke about children. In Matthew 18:2-4 It reads, “Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said “”Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives on little child like this in My name receives Me.””
Meek, humble, playful and ready to serve were the qualities Jesus referred to. In our society, the rich, powerful, and most likely to grace the cover of a magazine, are the ones who seem to receive all the glory. But Jesus came and called out the changes to the world system as He saw they should be.
Cherish the play time and “embrace the inner child” as some would say. The laundry can wait, and the mopping of the floor could be done another day. Your children will only be with your family for a short time. Their lessons of youth are a welcome comfort for all of us.