April 20, 2010

Watch the Kids

Mark 10:13-16

“Anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Mark 10:15


Many of us who are grandparents have opportunities to help raise our grandchildren. Some of us in our fifties and older are the main caregivers for our grandchildren. That role is deeply challenging. But it also allows us to use a lifetime of stored-up wisdom. We have the opportunity to avoid mistakes we made when our own children were young, and to do better with this generation.

The best thing about having children around at any age is that they have a lot to teach us—listening skills, for example. When our oldest granddaughter was small, we were driving by a cemetery. She hadn’t seen one before, so she asked, “What’s that?” I said, “It’s where the bodies of dead people are buried.” She asked, “Where do they bury their heads?” You get the idea.

Children usually see the world straight on. They are eager to love, willing to learn and be led, ready to laugh or cry at a moment’s notice, and often quite defenseless. Jesus uses the example of children to show the spirit and traits of a person who enters the kingdom of God. In fact, lack of trust, unwillingness to love and learn, and acting as if we don’t need others are traits that can keep us from entering the kingdom.

I’m thankful for mentors and models that have schooled me in the ways of Jesus. Among them are our grandchildren—and many others.

Lord, teach me to think and act like a child as I go through my day—to trust more, love more, be open more to what you and others have to teach me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — John Rozeboom

Rev. John Rozeboom is a retired pastor of the Christian Reformed Church and a former director of Christian Reformed Home Missions. Currently he is coaching and supporting elders, ministers, and a congregation in mission. John and Linda Rozeboom live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and they have two married children and five grandchildren.

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