Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will be no means enter it.  Mark 10:15

I want to first say to those who read this who live in a part of the world where there is much snowfall and many difficult tasks because of it, I do not want to minimize or trivialize the difficulty of those situations.

So I live in a place where it does not snow often.  On the few times a year that it does snow, most often it is looked at as a significant inconvenience to an outright danger.  It is true that things get closed and accidents happen.  Driveways and sidewalks have to be cleared, walking can become treacherous.  It is cold.

Yet whether here or when you see news reports concerning snow almost anywhere in the world, you see a very different reaction from children.  Children see snow as a wonder.  They see it as a gift.  A gift that is almost magical.  It is not rain which keeps them inside.  It’s not sunshine that is something that happens most everyday.  It is a wonderful transformation of their world into something that they can slide on, they can build things with, yes; in fun they can pack together and throw.  I saw this as I walked around my neighborhood recently when it snowed.  I was trudging slowly through the snow hoping not to slip and fall on the sidewalk, bemoaning the cold in my toes and fingers.  Yet at the same time I was hearing squeals of delight from children who gladly abandoned their indoor electronic games to explore and find blissful excitement in this winter wonderland.  I also noticed a marked difference in the response of adults.  Adults like myself, who were outside trying to cope with the inconvenience of the snow, did not display any joy in the moment.  Adults who were outside with their children were playing and building and seeing the gift of the moment through the eyes of their children.  The cynical would say the children’s joy only comes from the day off from school.  I might have tended to agree with that assessment had it not been for the fact that it was a Saturday.

And this is the rub.  We adults say to ourselves:  “They will grow out of it”.  And sadly they probably will.  Children will mature and will be taught by us adults the true aspects of life.  Life is hard and it is the hard who become successful.  To take the time to look for the good in a situation is only looking at things with “rose colored glasses” and as such is a waste of time.  Be suspicious of things you don’t understand and challenge people to prove it, before you believe it.  Expect that everything and everyone will let you down so guard your trust and withhold your faith.  The really good things in life cost a lot.

Jesus Christ sighs.  Surrounded by adults who are trying to block children from coming to Him, even some of His closest disciples, Jesus rebukes them and pulls the children close, to a place of honor right in front of Him and He imparts a priceless lesson.  When it comes to Our Heavenly Father and believing in Him, be like a child.

For many of us, there was a time when we believed that our parents were all powerful.  There was a time that no request of a parent seemed silly or impossible.  There was a faith that our parents would provide for every need that we had.  That our parents were the ultimate repository of knowledge and wisdom, able to correctly answer any question, no matter how many whys attached.  As we grow, we learn the human limitations of our earthly parents.

As Christ uses examples of nature, lilies and sparrows to illustrate the great lengths our Heavenly Father goes to support His creation, He extols us to understand how much more valuable we are in Our Father’s Eyes and how much more He desires, through a loving relationship, to provide for us and keep us safe.  As adults we would say (as the Jewish leaders said to Christ) prove it and then I’ll believe. Christ says that we can ask anything of the Father, to include moving mountains, and if we believe, it will happen.  Adults reply: “Be real, that can’t happen” scoffing at the concept, relying on ourselves and becoming mute to asking of and communing with Our Father.

We often use words like magical to describe that time of life we call childhood.  And then because we don’t believe in magic we dismiss that time as a time of whimsy and fantasy with little to no lasting impact.  Christ sighs.  Being One with the Father and a human being, Christ understands.  He understands that eventually we will ask things of an earthly father, they can’t answer or can’t supply.  Yet even more, Christ understands that, with the Heavenly Father, there is no request too large for the Creator of everything in the universe or too trivial for a Father who knows us each by name for He formed us in the womb.

May it be that we will be like a child with Our Heavenly Father, knowing with all certainty that He will supply all things perfectly.  May it be that we believe, whether we understand or not, that the Father’s plan is perfect and the more that we can be obedient to that plan the better it will be for us.  May we look at God’s creation with the excitement and wonderment of a child, being ever ready to squeal with excitement and ever flowing with thanksgiving and praise.  May we be open to His Love, seeing that He holds nothing back, even the life of His Precious Son Jesus Christ, to bring us into a loving relationship with him.

Amen

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