Like A Child
Recently my family and I went to the Wisconsin Dells for a little two day mini-vacation. For those of you who aren’t aware, the Dells are like Vegas for kids—it’s a town built almost entirely around the concept of the water park. When you stay in these massive water park hotels, you quickly realize that their goal is to make sure you never have to leave the hotel for anything. Sick of water stuff? Here’s some laser tag for you! Tired of the arcade? Check out our massive treehouse where you can shoot soft balls at each other! Hungry? We’ve got five restaurants for you to choose from! Aside from the constant smell of chlorine, it’s pretty cool.
It was during one of the long treks from our room to the water park that one of my children opened my eyes to another of God’s kingdom mindsets. Jesus’ admonition to “become like little children” never ceases to amaze me with its myriad of applications in real life.
Now remember, it’s September, so it’s getting cold outside in Wisconsin, and therefore the parks had closed off their outdoor sections. This means that what is during the summer months a field of water-filled awesomeness complete with slides, characters, and watery playgrounds is now a veritable wasteland of concrete with creepy little statues everywhere. You or I would walk past the window looking out to this barrenness and think nothing of it. The outside is closed. Nothing to see here. Continue on.
But that’s not how my three year old saw it.
I don’t know how many times we walked from our room to the water park, but every time we did, we had to walk past the window showing the closed up outdoor section of the park. And every time—I kid you not—every single time we walked past that window, River, my three year old boy, would press his face up to the glass and exclaim with extreme glee, “Cool!”
Now what does this have to do with God’s kingdom? The Lord showed me the first time I walked past that window, wondering what in the world my son thought was so cool. I didn’t see anything cool. I just saw an empty, drained water park. But the eyes of a child saw something different. He saw possibility. This thoughts were not negative like mine. He didn’t see the park for what it was, he saw it for what it could be. One look at his face told me everything I needed to know. He wished so badly he could get out there and play on all that stuff. So what if there wasn’t any water, those were still slides out there. That was still stuff to climb on.
How often do we do this? How often do I do this? We see the world the way it is—crappy, broken, dirty, frightening, dangerous—and we recoil. We head underground. We hope for its quick destruction. We pray Jesus will return soon to get us out of here. But that isn’t the kingdom perspective. That’s not how God wants us to see His world. We are to have the eyes of a child. Where others see desolation, we must see possibility.
That’s the kingdom way.