As I have gotten older I find that my sense of wonder has dulled. It’s not that I do not find things that capture my imagination or fill me with a sense of wonder. What I mean is that it seems to take more to “impress” me.
I say this with a deep sadness. On one occasion, as Jesus was teaching, some children were making a fuss all around, and the adults became annoyed. They were not to pleased to have all the noise as they were trying to hear and learn the “deep” things of God. I imagine that as Jesus watched the scene unfold he was struck by how easily adults lose sight of what really matters.
The more we learn about God does not draw us closer to him. The reality is that the more we enjoy God’s presence the closer we will be. Our enjoyment of God points to the undeniable power of relationship. When visiting friends whose company we enjoy, the lateness of the hour does not matter. The “inconvenience” of their being in our home is not given a second thought. And time itself seems to fly and our time of fellowship is gone too fast, leaving us with the sense that it was not long enough.
When Jesus looked around at those gathered he corrected their understanding of the situation. It is not the well put together and intellectually astute who will win the heart of God. No, it is the one who comes like a little child that has the best chance of entering the kingdom of God.
1At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:1-4)
And in Matthew 19:14, Jesus says this, echoing the sentiment above.
14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Children find such joy in the simplest of things. And they are able to do the same activity again and again. They never seem to grow tired of the same thing.
Here is a great elaboration of this remarkable phenomenon from the incomparable G. K. Chesterton. I will let it speak for itself and serve as our concluding thought.
“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.” [Source]