"Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see."
John W. Whitehead, founder, Rutherford Institute
You know you've been with toddlers when you can't get the Veggie Tale's theme song out of your head.
Or your place setting is a whole twelve feet from the edge of the table, out of reach of small-sized hands that snatch up utensils, cloth or food faster than a frog zaps a fly, but far enough away that it's impossible to maneuver fork to mouth in a smooth, clean transaction.
You know you're spending time with little ones when there are multiple finger prints on reading glasses or smudges on your favorite T-shirt. When your normal voices turns Mickey Mousish as you read out loud to the little form snuggled on your lap.
You know you've been Nana-ing when your body aches the day after, from running to first base in the back yard or from bending down to pick up or to listen face-to-face, one too many times. When your house is more disheveled than usual and you don't even care.
You know you've been with those precious youngsters when you keep rehearsing your romps and rollicks with them after you separate. And you remember the sweetness of carefreeness, the intensity of play and the eagerness to be part of the action whatever the next moment holds.
Mark 10:14 & 15
He said to them, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."
You pick up a little more insight into what Jesus means by these words when you spend time with and observe the little ones. Maybe he wants me to be towards him as my grandkids are towards me: That open spirit that easily accepts and gives love, or the freedom of expression that has little self consciousness. Where everything we do together is all-out; sometimes working towards finishing a specific task, and sometimes just seeing what results from giving ourselves to creative meanderings.
Am I eager to discover what surprises he has for me? Do I go to him first thing in the morning and say , "What are we going to do today?" Do I want to sit in his lap and listen to his stories, intently, begging to hear them again? Do I forgive quickly? Do I allow him to distract me from wailing over some unfulfilled selfish fixation? Do I just want to be with him?
Father, teach me more about receiving your Kindgom as a little child. Thank you for showing us your gentleness and love for those who sometimes are ignored or considered insignificant when life becomes too adult or too complicated. Draw me to your lap where time doesn't matter and enthrallment is mutual. I love you, Abba! Father!
If you're looking for a way to "listen to his stories" I'm including a couple sites where you can find Bible reading plans. There are more plans out there than I was aware of and certainly one that will fit any of our lifestyles. Storytime!