The kingdom of heaven belongs to children.
The mercury steadily rose, causing the streets to shimmer as the heat settled down over the day, stilling the breeze. Unable to concentrate, I got up from my desk and went and stood by the open window. I strained to hear the noises of the afternoon, but even the birds were silent.
“Put aside your work,” God invited me. “Come out and play!”
I laced up my shoes and scrambled out the door. As I turned the corner to the front yard, the wind broke free from its restraints and swept across the lawn. The birds, cooled by its touch, broke out in song. Two yellow butterflies bobbed by just as I heard God laugh. I sat down in the yard and laughed with Him. Work could wait. God could not.
“And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children,
you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus knew we had become hardened to the mystery and delights of life. He told us we had to change—that we needed to be childlike, full of curiosity and wonder. Children are receptive—teachable. They don’t have anything to prove. They haven’t built up walls to keep love out. They unabashedly plow headlong into their feelings and explore their boundaries. And, they play.
Adults, on the other hand, are often closed off. We think we know all we need to know; we aren’t very teachable. And, we have trust and intimacy issues. How much better our lives would be if we allowed the walls we’ve built to come down. How much better our lives would be if we became more curious, more open to exploring how we feel and how others feel. Imagine too, how good life could be if we could do as Jesus instructed and became more childlike. Think how freeing that could be! We could play more, instead of worrying.
Why don’t you knock on God’s door and ask Him to come out and play? See what good fun the two of you can get into.
I’m so dutiful and obedient that sometimes I forget that God isn’t some heavy burden my heart must carry. I forget that God created all the beauty in the world for my delight— that God is the light and the love, the joy, and frivolity in the world. So today, I will walk over to God’s house and knock on His door and ask if He wants to come out and play.