Last night I got to thinking about an interesting church experience I had last year. We had gone to the 10 AM mass and found it to be unusually crowded, so much so that we wound up sitting in the ‘baby room’ or what I have always called the ‘crying room.’ I don’t particularly care to sit in the crying room but there were seats available and we did have three of our grandkids with us. Actually it was probably the best place for us just in case the little one got restless. After that particular experience I really think they should rename the ‘crying room’ the ‘activity center’ or the ‘restless room,’ there was actually very little crying going on just a whole lot of noise and activity.
The last time I sat in the ‘crying room’ I felt like my whole church visit was a complete waste of time. I couldn’t concentrate on the mass or hear the Homily and felt completely annoyed. This time around it was the same experience. I felt exactly the same way. Kids were making noise, staring out the windows, playing games on cell phones and simply distracting me. Since I couldn’t hear the priest I tried to read from my Daily Devotional Book but found myself reading the same paragraph over and over. To say that I was frustrated would be putting it mildly.
And in that moment as I was thinking about what a colossal waste of time this was and how much better off I would have been staying at home, a little voice inside me spoke up. You know the voice, you’ve heard it before, some call it the voice of reason, conscience or even the voice of God. And what do you think that voice said to me? Are you ready for this? All at once I heard, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Wow! Where had that come from? Pretty timely don’t you think?
I sat there recalling the story. Several local Jews bring a group of children to visit with Jesus. Believing that their Master doesn’t want to be bothered by children the apostles step in to stop them but Jesus calls to them and tells them to let the children come to Him and He welcomes and embraces them. Then out of the blue, Blam! I hear the voice saying “Unless you become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
I looked around the crying room at all the little kids and it all made sense. Suddenly all the noise and distraction didn’t matter. These little children are what God wants us to be like. And as I watched those children I thought about the qualities they possess that we, as adults have lost touch with. After several minutes I began to understand what childlike qualities Jesus is talking about. Children are innocent and have a wide-eyed sense of wonder. They have blind faith, an unfailing sense of trust. They trusts over and over again, with arms wide open and a smile on their faces. Can we say the same about ourselves? Are we filled with wide-eyed wonder? Do we trust as completely and wholesomely as a little child?
If your answer is no, then you, like me, have a ways to go if we are to enter the kingdom of God. Trust is a personal choice, a personal decision based on your relationship with God. Can you trust as completely as a child? Or are you road weary and full of doubt from all of your life experiences? Has life’s journey taken its toll and hardened you and made you bitter and full of doubt? Does your life feel unfulfilled and your prayers unanswered? Yeah life can do that to us, if we let it, but it is our duty to trust God implicitly. That is what he wants from us. Jesus told doubting Thomas as he tell all of us: “Be not faithless, but believing”.
Do you believe? If you find that you are out of sorts and harbor doubts that are keeping you from being truly child-like, Turn to God and pray that you may regain those child-like qualities and see the world God has created for us with wide-eyed wonder. Now is the time to make changes in our lives and relearn to trust as a child trusts. The choice is ours to make. Only by doing so will we be saved. But don’t wait too long before acting, “Time waits for no man.”