At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 18:1-4 NASB)
Do you remember a time when monsters were real? When heroes defeated them? Do you remember the days when the world was so much more full of wonder and bewilderment? Have you ever longed for those times?
Consider the absurdity of our lives as Children of God. He is unimaginable, so He preserves a record of who He is for us. It records how He chose a people, and through them redeems His creation. It’s a bewildering tale if we let it be.
There were days when giants defied the people of God and they fell. There were lions and bears in Canaan, and David snatched lambs from their mouths and beat them with clubs…as a child. Do you ever miss those days when you believed such things?
We think of “repentance” as returning to God, but that assumes we left at some point. I am arriving at the conclusion that we haven’t left God so much as we’ve left that view of God we once had, as children. And we’re still looking the other way.
I believe my Master is driving me to be childish. And yet in so many ways to leave childish ways behind me. So to believe that the world is as God describes, and smiling at those who disagree, this is becoming my new desire.
I don’t want to hang on to the view that the world revolves around me, that is immature. But I do want to trust my Father because it never occurs to me He would be wrong. I want to play, to pretend it’s all true, to dance with David.
I don’t want to be king, I want to be jester. I don’t want to be a warrior except with a wooden sword, and facing enemies with assurance I can’t explain. I want to declare to those against me that “my Daddy is bigger than you!”
Why not wash feet? Why not allow people to threaten me, beat me, and say all manner of evil against me? Why not? They don’t understand. They’re refusing to play the game my Father designed. Am I not happier playing the game He has than theirs?
How can I enter the Kingdom of Heaven, before the Throne of God, unless I’m a child? How can I not run through the doors, yelling because I love the echo, and jump into His lap? He’s my Father! Why wouldn’t I tell Him all about my day?
But I am crushed. I’m wounded. My heart and soul are scarred. The world is not lovely, and the days are not happy. My universe shrinks to insignificance, as my view of my Father fades in the distance behind me. It’s time to return.
That’s what “converted” means! It means to change, to turn from what is occupying my attention, and turn toward my Father who wants my attention. It’s time to weep in His arms, and curl up against His chest, hear His heart, and finally rest.
I’m tired of being grown up. I’m not built for it. The clothes don’t fit and I can’t run in them. The roles are boring and I’ve stopped learning. It’s time to change clothes, roles, and start having fun with my friends again.
What marriage doesn’t want fun? What kid doesn’t want a parent who understands a child? I’m tired of trying to be in control, and I’m ready to play well with others. It’s time for me to go in now, the street lights have come on…
What time is it for you?