June 23 I Tuesday
“[Jesus] called a little child to Him, and placed the child among them. And He said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children...’”
In American author Robert Fulghum’s poem, “All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten,” he writes, “Most of what I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday school. These are the things I learned: Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat. Flush. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you….When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.”
Isn’t Fulghum’s poem profound? The things we learned when we were in kindergarten are as applicable today as they were yesterday. While many of us cannot wait to grow out of our childhood, Jesus tells His disciples to bring back childlikeness. Not immature childhood, but childlikeness, as He says, “…unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 18:3). The change that Jesus talks about is not accidental but deliberate.
A childlike disposition makes our profession of faith to be a Christian a lifelong process.
The focus is not about becoming a Christian and entering the kingdom but about being the Christian we have become and living in the kingdom.
Similar to marriage, becoming a husband or a wife only takes a few moments. At a wedding ceremony, the officiator will ask the groom, “Will you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?” The groom would answer, “I will.” Then the officiator will ask the bride, “Will you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?” And the bride would say, “I will.” Afterwards, the officiator concludes, “I now pronounce you husband and wife.” Five minutes ago these two people were not married, but now they are and they have a lifetime ahead of them to work out their marriage.
Sometimes, when it comes to the Christian life, we place a lot more emphasis on the wedding than on the marriage. Yet, being a husband or a wife is a lifelong task and not just a momentary decision. Likewise, when Jesus talks about being childlike in becoming a Christian, He is reminding us of lifelong commitment to childlike dependence and humility. As many of us would want to mature into adulthood, may we not be so quick to forget what we learned in kindergarten and embrace our faith with childlikeness.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for the reminder to have a childlike disposition. I understand that being a Christian is not a momentary decision but a lifelong commitment to walk with You in dependence and humility. Amen.