I spent last week at a Trappist Monastery in Upstate NY, resting and being renewed through chapel services and daily lectures by the monks. Early in the week, retired Abbot Fr. John Eudes discussed the passage in Matthew 18:1-4, “At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.””
My pride often gets in my way and I want to be recognized as “great”, too, but rather than wealth, power, or possessions, Jesus gives us a different answer: Be like children.
After Fr. Eudes’ discussion, I contemplated what it would take for me to be transformed to a little child again. I’ve spent the past 40 years trying to be all grown-up; I’ve lost the childlike desire to learn new things and to experience pure joy at non-productive play. As an adult I’ve become hardened to trusting new people in my life, treating them as competition or demanding that they earn my love as a reward for good behavior rather than loving them unconditionally like a child loves.
I was still thinking about Jesus’ words when I left the guesthouse later that afternoon to walk to chapel, about ½ mile up the road. I spotted four bikes on the porch and wondered what it would be like to be a kid again, riding just for the sheer fun.
I grabbed the blue bike and pushed it to the end of the driveway. I was hoping that no one was watching who would see me if I fell, but I leaped on and pushed off. I was riding a bike again!
I stopped at Chapel for the afternoon service, but instead of heading back to the guesthouse, I rode up and down River Road, making the three mile ride over and over again.
What can you do today to become like a child again? How can you humble yourself to enjoy God by sharing in His creation?
I kept riding my bike that night until it was too dark to see; I finally had to go home.
Blessings, my friend,