I was driving down my street the other day hurriedly trying to get to an appointment, yet going slow through our neighborhood. As I drove by a neighbor's house, a little boy, probably about 3 or 4 was standing beside a man getting out of the car in the driveway. As I approached, he looked up, right at me, and gave me a big smile and waved. I smiled and waved back.
As I continued on my way, I thought to myself, when does that die in us?
"What do you mean?" you may be wondering.
Think about it for a minute. Here is a perfect stranger who lifts his head, acknowledegs my presence in the world by looking at me, smiles and waves a greeting. How many times a day do we, as adults, do that? Imagine the looks you would get if you smiled and waved at everyone as they passed you by. People would probably think you had a little screw loose.
Yet here is a charming little boy who smiled and waved at me, reminding me that we were all like that at one time. So why does it die in us? As we mature, we are supposed to act mature, not like children. We are supposed to "put away childish things". While at the same time, be humble like a child.
Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Here is the answer I think. We are too prideful, to self absorbed to keep that child within alive. Think about that for a moment. Why would we not wave and smile at a stranger? Because of what they will think of us. And why do we care what they think? Because of our pride.
Being humble like a child offers us a sense of freedom many of us have abandoned. The little boy on the corner wasn't wondering what I would think of him if he smiled and waved. He probably wasn't that concerned if I smiled and waved back. He has yet to grow a shield of pride.
In our world where we are surrounded by things that break our spirits, we react by building a shield of protection--of pride. It blessed me to be reminded of how free God really wants us to be. We are to be like little children, innocent and humble. When we move back in that direction, we begin to be free again.Our chains begin to fall off.
We grow less concerned what others will think of us--not in an arrogant, "I don't care what you think about me" kind of way. But in a natural, not even giving it a thought kind of way. Just like the little boy, he didn't think about it, he just waved and smiled.
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