The disciples approached Jesus and said,
"Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?"
He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said,
"Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever humbles himself like this child
is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.
Several years ago while leading worship for a week long summer camp in Georgia, I had the amazing experience of sharing a log cabin with two Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. While I thought I was there to lead teens closer to Christ, God had plans for my own growth through the time I would spend with these two amazing men. What struck me most about them was their complete and peaceful surrender to God’s will and providence. Whatever came their way, they trusted that God was in it and they just peacefully rolled with it. This was a pretty stark contrast to the way I realized I’d been living my life. Kind of constantly juggling the world’s problems with my own two arms, forgetting that God really is in control, and he is far more, infinitely more capable than me to deal with life’s problems.
When I think about why Christ would say we need to become like children, I think about these friars. I think about how they relied on God entirely, and did so with joy, humility and peacefulness. When they’re not acting like little savages, children exhibit a similar type of carefree reliance on their parents. They live in the home without the stress of paying the rent or the mortgage. They eat the food on the table without necessarily understanding the complexity of earning the money required, planning meals, making the trip to the grocery store, and cooking the food. They trust that their parents will provide what they need.
I personally want to continue to grow in this type of all-trusting dependance on God. If we aren’t letting him be God, then we’re trying to be gods… and it’s not a job we’re going to do very well.