Everyone knows THAT kid in Church.
You know…the four or five year old toddler who always laughs during moments of quiet reflection?
The kid who likes to throw animal crackers at his or her little brother taking a nap in his mother’s arms?
The kid who runs through the pews as if the Church is a track?
The kid who pokes at his Mom’s face like she is made of play-doh?
Get the picture? I’m sure you know THAT kid. Right?
It does not matter what denomination you may be a part of, everyone seems to know THAT one kid in his or her Church. If you are not a Christian, you still know THAT kid. He or she likes to giggle loudly during the death scene at your favorite Broadway play. He or she takes Mom’s phone and decides to watch a whole episode of a Spongebob next to you on the plane…without headphones.
So what gives kid? Just from observing the expressions on the faces of people around me, I notice that may people can get pretty frustrated with the havoc THAT kid creates. It always seem to occur at the wrong place and at the wrong time.
One seemingly wrong place is Church.
When the pastor, minister, or whoever is speaking that day, THAT kid decides to be the biggest distraction. E.V.E.R.
They start giggling. They start jumping up and down. They start making faces at you.
Usually, I start thinking thoughts such as:
- “Hey parent? How about you just bring THAT kid to the back of the Church? Everyone is trying to concentrate!”
- “Our Church definitely has a program to watch little children for this hour?!”
- “Kid, can you just contain your random excitement for just a few minutes…let me just reflect for a second…seriously just a second”
- “Ok, sweet, THAT kid seems pretty calm now. The drawing looks great, keep it up! NOOO NOOO STOPP get that marker away from my new shirt.
So obviously THAT kid is just not mature and does not understand what is means to worship Christ.
Actually, not quite.
Over the last couple of months, my frustration with the deviance little kids caused while in Church has shifted.
I have come to the conclusion that…THAT kid is above and beyond a more devote Christian than myself.
Wait, but THAT kid doesn’t seem to be living like Christ taught us?
In Matthew 19:15 Jesus makes this clear.
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
After changing my perspective I noticed the ever presence these children have with the world. I become frustrated because I need to concentrate…but do they? No, they show Christ’s love just by being fully alive. A key lesson I’ve taken away from all this is that maybe sometimes we just need to stop concentrating. Maybe, just maybe, in order to listen to God and be surrounded by his presence we just have to sit back. Not force it. Let it come.
So what are some reasons that THAT kid is so special.
The ups and downs of life never seem to take away THAT kids ever-present joy. Happiness and joy are distinct. Happiness is earthly so it comes and it goes. Joy is eternal and is given to us through the Holy Spirit. THAT kid is constantly emitting joy for just….existing. I’ve seen little kids light up the room with a smile for absolutely no reason at all. Nothing special happened to them. They didn’t get a present or eat their favorite food. They just smile. This is the type of joy that should radiate from us with our faith in Christ. Something we all need to strive for is seeking JOY in all areas of life. THAT kid seems to have joy figured out.
2.Not Caring What Others Think
THAT kid does not care what you think. He does not care what his friends think nor does he care about what his parents think (sorry parents). He or she will do whatever they think needs to be done in that moment. This is a key lesson to takeaway. We are people that care so much about how others see us. Sometimes we are to afraid to act in fear of embarrassment. As Christians we are called to not care. We are called to do what is necessary in the moment to be representatives of Christ’s love to the world. This takes courage. This takes strength. THAT kid does not worry about the future. He or she lives in the present moment without any doubts. THAT kid shows us what it means to be fearless in action.
3. Loving Unconditionally
THAT kid is always loving unconditionally. It may not appear that way at first, but if you look closely you may notice something remarkable. Though he or she may constantly poke their little sister…a few moments later they will hug them so tight Mom gets worried. Though he or she may run up and down the pews at Church, if they see someone who appears sad they will stop in their tracks and ask them what is wrong. In these little acts, children seem to lose themselves. The other individual becomes their whole world. They are focused on others not themselves.
Jesus makes it clear to us in the Gospel passage that this is the way to live. So, does this mean I can start acting like a little kid again? Yes and no. Instead of getting frustrated next time THAT kid makes a loud appearance during Church, remind yourself:
“Honestly, I should be more like THAT kid”