Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Wonder of a Child

I love to watch the wonder in the face of a child as they make a new discovery. In their eyes the world is fresh and new and exciting with so much to see and experience. Currently, one of Benjamin’s favorite toys is a little red train that plays music and cycles balls through its top, down through its middle and up and out at the top again. He drops a ball in the top and then leans forward as close as possible to watch for the ball to re-emerge and begin the process all over. It’s the same cycle over and over, but it brings him wonder and delight each time. He loves to experiment with his train as well. Often if I hear a cry of frustration and notice the balls are stuck in their cycle, I simply have to reach into the train and out will come a sock or a small plastic insert from his ankle braces or whatever else was handy at the time! One day (thankfully during a time the train was not being used), I reached in and found his missing hearing aid!

Benjamin can be fascinated by the simplest of things—the spinning motion of a ceiling fan, hands clapping together (or anything with a rhythm for that matter), the various textures of every day surfaces and objects. I want to encourage his sense of discovery. I want him to explore the world around him. So many times I’ve seen a busy parent pull their child away from an unexpected discovery, maybe as simple as a dandelion in the yard. I don’t say this to be critical; I know I could so easily be guilty of the same behavior when I feel the crunch of our schedule. However, I want to remember to allow Benjamin numerous opportunities for discovery, and I want to share his wonder in each new experience. I know if he could speak, he would have much to tell me about the events of his day. Often while he’s playing, he will look at me with a big smile on his face as if to say, “Mommy, did you see that?!”

I was recently pondering the parallel that can be drawn between the wonder of discovery in a child and the wonder of discovery in a new believer. They are often fascinated by each new experience. God opens up something to them in the Word and they are thrilled, eager to share their wonder with someone. He speaks something to their hearts, and they are in awe. Things are new and fresh, and like little children they eagerly explore. How often, though, are they met with levels of indifference by more “mature” believers? Maybe their new revelation is a truth we’ve long known and have even started to take for granted. Sometimes their enthusiasm seems “over-the-top,” and may even make us uncomfortable. How often has the Body of Christ been guilty of squelching the wonder of discovery in a new Christian? Why do we do this? I think it would be good to realize that just as we have things to teach them, they have much to teach us. I want an ever-increasing excitement to grow inside of me for Jesus and His Kingdom. There will be new beauties and mysteries and facets of His heart to discover for all of eternity; we’ve only just begun. I suppose in that sense we are all just little children. After all, Jesus told us that it is those with a child-like (not childish) heart who will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.

But I fear that somehow you will be led away from your pure and simple devotion to Christ, just as Eve was deceived by the serpent. (2 Corinthians 11:3, NLT)

But Jesus said to them, “Let the children come to Me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14, NLT)

May we all re-discover the wonder of childhood as we walk in simple love and devotion to Jesus, eager to seek out each new revelation and experience He would bring our way!  

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