by Dr Jean Carter
My Journey to a Relationship with God and How He Healed Me and Made Me Whole Again.
For many years now I have worked with little children. They are a constant delight with their fresh approach to life and learning. They can also be powerful teachers.
One Tuesday morning, Julia, a 5 year old, came and told me she had lost her earring in the playground during recess. She had lost her earring somewhere in 2 acres of grass. She stood there looking up at me with eyes that portrayed great confidence. I, her teacher, would surely find the earring! Consequently the class and I went back out to the playground and started looking for the lost earring.
Thirty minutes later I had to tell Julia that we could not find her missing earring. She now looked at me with accusing eyes and said, 'You have not even prayed yet! How come?' How come? I did not think that God would be interested in one lost earring. How dare she ask! How come? Julia continued to glare. After a few seconds my anger dissipated and I realized the wisdom in her words. As a class we knelt down to pray. I then sent everyone back out to look for the lost earring and 'Bingo'! Within one minute the lost earring had been found and I had learned my lesson. God is interested in all of our activities and we should be talking to Him like we talk to our friends.
This experience made me think of one of my favourite passages in the Bible, Matthew 18:3 'And He said:"I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven"'. It was a little child that reminded me of one of the eternal truths about prayer - it is designed for communication between father and child, a loving conversation - not a formal morning, noon and night check-in.
Another lesson from a 'little child' happened a few months later. It was close to the end of the year and the students who had collected enough class points were rewarded by being invited to dine at the Pizza Hut. This was a sought after prize and, as normal, all of the class ended up being invited.
It was an enjoyable meal. The students chatted quietly and were enjoying the pizza and salad. Near the end of the meal I escorted a few children to the bathroom. Upon returning, I was horrified to see two of my 8 year old boys offering remnants of pizza to the long suffering customers who were also dining at the Pizza Hut. I hurried up to the boys and asked them in a harried voice, 'What did they think they were doing?' Then I shepherded them back to their seats. Once seated one of the boys, David, asked what was the problem and why was I so upset? I tried to explain that we could take home the left over pizza and did not want to waste our money. He then said to me words that I do not think I will ever forget. 'We did not want the Pizza so why not share with others. That is what Jesus would want.' Yes, that is exactly what Jesus would want.
So often as adults we become protective of our possessions. We have the 'I have earned it, so I will keep it' mentality. That is not what Jesus lived, preached or advocated. He said in Matthew 6: 19 - 21 'Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.'
Little children have a simple, yet insightful faith. They can see through hypocrisy and can simply focus on the essence of Jesus teachings. Unless we as adults change, and become like little children, we may miss the simplicity of the plan of Salvation. We may try to complicate our faith and beliefs, and try to justify our actions on earth, but the message in Matthew is clear: 'And He said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven"' (Matthew 18:3).
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