Psalm 48:14 “For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.”
“When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Today, Lucia, my littlest child, reminded me of the truth, to be a child to truly appreciate the kingdom of God. Earlier this week Sara and I watched a film called Courageous. It was written and directed by a group that has done several Christian themed films, all of which are tremendous. In this particular movie the emphasis is on fatherhood and how to be a father that would be pleasing to God. Ever since watching this film I have tried very hard to recognize times that I can be a better father starting first and foremost with saying yes to my kids when they want to do something with me. Today, it was Luci’s turn.
Luci has been on repeat lately asking to help with dinner preparations. At six years old she is not terribly helpful in too many ways but what she lacks in skills, size, usefulness, knowledge, and safety she makes up for, and in spades, with enthusiasm. And so it was that when I remarked to the kids that I had to go grocery shopping for dinner that Luci was all on board about going. First she grabbed her pink backpack which she had seen mom use on more than one occasion because of its ability to handle a sizable amount of goods. Then she proceeded to stuff it full with her water bottle, blanket, stuffed animal, and pez dispenser. I reminded her gently that we would need some of that space for groceries so she reluctantly put the blanket and “neigh neigh” back. She announced to all who would listen that she and I were heading out and off we went.
If you have ever gone anywhere with a 6 year old you will know what befell me over the next fifteen minutes. She was a tornado of movement and a nonstop blur of speech. The topics ranged beyond my recollection and certainly my ability to keep pace. But in it all she was simply thrilled. On such a mediocre journey as grocery shopping you would have thought that she was on her way to the moon. Skipping, laughing, jumping, and smiling the whole way. Luci reminded me to take the joy in every moment we have, no matter how “mundane” it may seem. As we neared the halfway point it dawned on me how much I could learn from her exuberance and so we discussed plans for Mother’s Day dinner. She was simply thrilled that she was included in the plans and, although her culinary knowledge is lacking, her suggestions were nevertheless enjoyable to hear.
As I reflect now on this time I realize that I must seem a bit like Luci to me as I am to God. Sadly there are too many times that instead of skipping and laughing I am hanging my head in despair or grief. But in all times I imagine I am like Luci offering suggestions for ingredients for Indian food (marshmallows and ice cream as it turns out are not traditional sub-jee items). Here I was thinking I know the answers, the ingredients for a good life, when in reality God knows them far better than I. I foolishly say my peace but in the end God guides me and we have a fantastic meal together and all the while I am happier. I just feel blessed to be going on the journey with Him, just like Luci just loved saying she was part of the adventure.
I am happy to be included on the walk, happy that He listens to my crazy ideas about how ice cream will really finish the sauce nicely, and happy that He lets me enjoy the meal when He is finished. It is hard to humbly admit that my 6 year-old gets it better than I do, but I am sure glad she was there to remind me today.