I was walking past our gym today and I watched a preschooler’s tennis class letting out. The last item on their agenda was to run the length of the gym a couple of times. They did so with giggles and smiles and ended up continuing to run even after the instruction was over. Contrast that to the high school or college athlete who is required to run after practice. In my experience, there are very few smiles and I don’t believe I ever heard a giggle when it was my turn.
What is work to one is joy to another. It often seems that children have a wonderful way of simplifying and enjoying the moments that we as adults seek to avoid. I would give anything if I could get the adults in my church to dance during worship like the children do. But letting oneself be that free goes away somewhere along the path of growing up.
Do you remember the joys of seeing how high you could go on a swing? How about the pure fun of racing across a field for no reason? I walked to the park today and saw a one year old in absolute rapture as she played in the mud. A little mud on our clothes would send many of us racing for the house to change or just skip whatever activity we were headed towards.
I do understand that there is a time to grow up. I also contend that many of us overshoot that runway. Jesus says in Matthew 18 that if we are going to see His Kingdom we had better change and become like children. I do not believe Jesus is telling us to be irresponsible adults. I do think He is telling us that life is not always as hard as we make it. Faith works when we hold on to it. It is as simple as that. A child never doubts his or her parents. We should trust that our God is every bit as capable at each season of our lives.
Children run and play and dance because they don’t carry the burdens that adults tend to carry. Another way of saying that is that they are not stressed. I wonder how much more fun life would be if we put our stress where it belonged? Jesus said cast all our anxieties on Him and He would take care of us. I realize that is the hardest thing for us to do at times, but it just may be the thing that saves us. So, hear the call of our Father in Heaven inviting us to come and play. Don’t be afraid to smile and giggle from time to time. And if you are really wanting to have some fun, try busting a move during worship. Try seeing life from the eyes of a child all of you who are children of God.