Every morning, I am greeted by a sweet, happy 3-year-old voice whose first question is, "what are we doing today, Mama?"I have always appreciated the enthusiasm and energy with which my daughter has met each day, but as I have been reflecting on Jesus' challenging statement that I must be transformed into a little child in order to enter his kingdom, Maren's attitude has dramatically influenced me.
While there are many characteristics of children that I could focus on as I close my meditation on Jesus' words (recorded in the gospel according to Matthew, chapter 18), my daughter's simple morning greeting teaches me 3 things that I believe Jesus wants me to know [understand, put into practice]:
1. She is not in control. By asking me what the day holds, my daughter demonstrates her understanding that I'm responsible for what happens to her that day. She doesn't expect to be in charge of the day's agenda but rather, anticipates my leading and oversight.
How different would my days be if I began them by asking my heavenly Father, "what are we doing today, Daddy? what is on your mind, what are your plans?"
2. She trusts my plans. The joyful anticipation in her question reflects her trust that I have planned something good for her. She starts the day eager to know what I have in store for her, which reflects her past experiences with me and the relationship that we have built.
Do I believe that God's plans for me are good? Do I trust him with the circumstances and details of my days?
3. She wants to spend the day with me. This will probably change as she grows up, which may be one of many reasons why Jesus references a child of this age. But right now, my daughter expects that she will be with me all day long, that we will experience the day together, and that our shared time will be part of the fun that day.
How eager am I to spend my day with Jesus? How much do I invite him into what's happening to me each day?
The innocent simplicity with which a 3 year old opens her day is incredibly humbling. That's the kind of heart attitude that God wants from me! And the fact is, if I were more like a child, in this way, then I would certainly experience more of God's Fatherly affection for me. Right? The more that I look to God to guide, plan, and walk with me through each day, the more I enjoy his presence and provision.
So right now, I am praying that I can learn from my daughter. I am praying that the Spirit of God would transform me into an eager, joyful, trusting child who can't stand the thought of spending a day without my Daddy. I pray this for you, too!