I’m sitting in my office today with a three-year-old boy who is fully engaged in what I am doing although he doesn’t understand any of it. He is completely transfixed and intensely trying to grasp all that is happening before his eyes. To me, I am simply doing some writing. To him, I am changing his perception of reality. He is curious, full of wonder, and willing to learn anything I will take the time to teach him. I love hunger and I love curiosity, and both of these are very present in this little sample of a human being. He is sweet, he is innocent, and he is contagious! I want to be like him.
What can be learned from a simple moment as I’ve described above? Oh, so much! Consider the position the chief priests and scribes assumed when witnessing children celebrating Jesus Christ…
But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, 16 and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?” Matthew 21:15,16 ESV
These educated and religious leaders who were mocking and angry with the children could not comprehend how anyone would allow these children to display such animation towards this self-proclaimed Christ. What might have happened if those same chief priests and scribes had said instead “I want to be like them.”
Now consider you and me. When we witness the elation of a child or the passion of youth, is it offsetting to us or does it compel us to press in? Do we assume the position of the adult who understands “proper” behavior and manages our expressions or do we fully engage and expect the unexpected with anxiety and anticipation? Are we prepared to launch ourselves into the vision or are we standing safely on the sideline waiting to see if it is for real before making a decision? Is there a childlike innocence within us or are we consumed with controlled behavior that will never embarrass us? Consider this, for it might well cause the heart to finally accept what the mind has permitted, and this revelation may yet produce change that will lead to life.
A three-year-old boy! What can he possibly teach us? Maybe that the vision that lies before us is worth the excitement and the anticipation that is childlike. Perhaps we could learn that those things that seem so important that tend to distract us aren’t important at all. This little three-year-old boy did not concern himself with anything going on around him. He was engaged and transfixed so intensely and purposefully he was able to draw every ounce of possibility from that moment. I want to be like him. How about you?