Friday, June 8, 2018

The Alpha of Being Child-like

UV 2978/10000 The Alpha of Being Child-like
Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein
Mark 10 v 15

A child-like faith is essential to believe and to enter the kingdom of God. The child trusts unquestioningly the words of the parent up to a certain age when his or her innocence ends. Adam and Eve’s innocence ended when they realized that both good and evil existed in the world. Our innocence in the eyes of God is restored when we receive the message of the second Adam- Jesus into our hearts. Our belief in the promises of God does not require us to ask for proof or evidence before we so believe and trust. In this sense, it is a kind of blind faith- the kind of blindness that comes from seeing the bright light of truth as Saul on the road to Damascus beheld the vision of Jesus and fell blinded to his feet. His spiritual eyes were opened even as his physical eyes were blinded. No longer did he hold onto his conditioned beliefs in the superiority of the Jewish faith that filled him with zeal and anger at the followers of Jesus that he wanted them killed and destroyed. Saul, the man of hardened heart had become Paul, the one with a child-like faith and gentle manners.

When we become child-like the source of our confidence and self esteem is not our own strength and accomplishments but the belief that we have a big and strong Father or Dad. While formerly, we had a bad dad in the enemy of our souls, now we have a good Dad. Our bloated egos get deflated as it is no longer reliant on who we are but whose we are. St Paul no longer saw or defined himself as a defender of the Jewish faith but as a servant of God. He had no aspiration for greatness like a child. He only sought to do the pleasing will of the Lord. He saw himself as the worst of sinners and defined himself as “ I am what I am but by the grace of God. “ Being child-like also means a willingness to re-learn all that one lives by. To give up our former ego, former pride, former covetousness, former lusts implies that one has to become a learner or a complete child once again. To be child-like is to not attempt to limit God with our reasoning, our experience or our knowledge. Being child-like is to experience the sense of awe and wonder at all that the Lord has done and is doing in our lives and in the world around. To have a spiritual curiousity that spurs our growth in understanding, experiencing and manifesting the grace and love of Christ. Being child-like is not the same as being childish. It is not opting out of the race for maturity and wisdom. It is an acknowledgement that our knowledge is never going to be complete, that we can mess up and yet find grace in the Father’s embrace to be more blessed for it.

Receiving the kingdom of God implies that the ‘word view’ becomes our world view. We see everything and attempt to understand everything through the lens of the scriptures. Often it requires us to suspend our disbelief and believe contrary to what we have been taught or understood this far. We should like Peter be willing to give up our past prejudices and biases. To be willing to take risks at the command of the Lord even as Peter tried to walk on water when Jesus beckoned him to come. Being child-like requires us to be dependent on the Lord and His grace all our lives and not try to branch out like the independent minded prodigal son to seek his fortune much to his own chagrin later in life. To commit to lifelong learning implies one needs to learn from the positive and negative experiences the Lord allows us to go through and as we go, we grow.

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