Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What Would Children Do?

If you are one of those few people who have escaped the torture…I mean pleasure, of going to Chuck E. Cheese Pizza, you have missed out on a true cultural opportunity. The pizza is mediocre at best. It’s very loud and noisy from the video games, children running around everywhere, parents yelling at their kids to stop running around everywhere, and, of course, the band. The band consists of Chuck E. Cheese, who is a 7-foot-tall mouse, a gorilla that plays the keyboards and some other giant animals.

There is plenty to see and do on any given day or nigh,t at Chuck’s pizza establishment. However, a group of parents and children got quite a show in Memphis, TN last week. Eighteen year-old, Juaneka Key was standing at a vending machine in Chuck E. Cheese. She had apparently been there a while, when Terence Dickerson, 42, asked her how long she planned to be there. She told him that she was going to take her time. This must not have been the answer Mr. Dickerson was looking for. He punched her in the eye.

One of his buddies must have thought he couldn’t handle the fight and jumped in to help assault Ms. Key. Ms. Key’s family got in the fight and others came closer to watch. Many children and parents began leaving the scene, to avoid getting involved or hurt. Five people were arrested before the whole ordeal was over. One person commented, “It’s a shame that adults are acting like children.”

Were they acting like children? I’m not so sure. I think they were acting like spoiled-rotten adults who cannot control themselves. Two children in the same situation would probably not have behaved in the same way.

Jesus uses children many times in the Gospels to illustrate how we should behave. Look at Matthew 18:3-5 “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.” The disciples had just asked Jesus who would be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus answered them with the above quote. What did He mean by that? What can children teach us about living for Christ?

I believe they have a lot to teach us. The reasons Jesus singled them out for an example, has multiple layers. Here are a few characteristics we could learn from children.

Complete trust and dependence
         o Children have to depend completely on their parents for food, shelter, love and many other things. They also trust their parents will provide them. We must learn to trust our Heavenly Father the same way.

Teachability and humility
         o Children love to learn. They ask many questions to gain the information and guidance they need. They understand that they don’t know it all, and look to parents for the information they desire so much. We must look to God as our source of learning and have the humility to understand that God knows better than we do. He is all powerful, all knowing, all seeing, and we can learn so much from Him!

Uninhibited joy
         o Listen to children laugh sometime. They laugh from the belly. They laugh hard. They sometimes lose their breath laughing. When was the last time you felt that kind of joy from the simple things. Also, when they think something is funny, they laugh. When they hear music that makes them move, they dance. They don’t worry about what others think. That comes later when we teach them to worry about what others think. They express themselves with joy in whatever they do.

• Purity
          o Children are pure. They are innocent. They will not always be so, but for a time, they are. Children see only the good in others, and have no idea that there is anything other than good in them. When we grow older, we lose that innocence. Jesus died on the cross to bear our sin, so that we could be pure once again. Unless we allow Him to wash us clean, we will never be truly purified.

My prayer is that at the beginning of each day you say to yourself, “How can I be more child-like today?” When you retire for the evening, ask yourself how child-like you actually were. If we begin to make changes in our lives, to be more like the children Jesus spoke of, then we will begin to see true growth in God’s Kingdom.

Then they also brought infants to Him that He might touch them; but when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” (Luke 18:15-17 NKJV)

No comments: