Kids are often much quicker at grasping the principles of God’s Kingdom than we adults. A fact which my grandchildren once portrayed while watching a TV rerun. No wonder Christ said his is a child’s kingdom!
During a rerun of Rafe Hollister Sings from The Andy Griffith Show, my 6-year old grandson observed Mayberry’s mayor and a leading citizen (Mrs. Jeffrie) reject Rafe as town representative for a musical event.
“Why don’t they want him to sing,Grandma?” asked my 6-year old grandson. “He sings good.”
“Yea,” added his 4-year old sister, “he sings better than that other guy!” So I explained that they didn’t like the way he looked.
GRANDSON: “What’s wrong with him? He looks OK to me!”
ME: “Well, they don’t like the way he’s dressed.”
GRANDDAUGHTER: “He looks OK to me. He just looks like a farmer.”
GRANDSON: “And he could always change his clothes.”
ME: “Yes, he could, couldn’t he…”
But all the while I thought, no wonder Christ says we must become like little children to enter his kingdom.
Not like Barney Fife, the mayor, or Mrs. Jeffrie. Or me, at times! Because my thoughts matched those of the snooty Mrs. Jeffrie and the mayor. “How could they let someone like him get up there to sing?”
Deputy Barney Fife had already cast himself as the winner, and strutted off, sure of taking first place. While Rafe Hollister, with his truly gifted voice, entered only because Sheriff Andy Taylor convinced him to. “You think I’ve got a chance?” was his sincere and humble question. Barney embarrassed himself with his out-of-tune singing. But humble, misfit Rafe Hollister took the place of honor, wining the competition! Why not listen to Rafe’s singing for yourself and see if you think he was good enough to enter, and even win, the contest!
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. — Matthew 18:1-4
May the Lord teach us to become like little children, for only then will we enter his kingdom. May he change our hearts, and help us to look beyond appearances to the heart. And help us stop viewing others with prejudice, but with eyes of love and acceptance, as my grandchildren do!
And you? Who are you like?
Like my grandchildren or like the snooty mayor and Mrs. Jeffries? Do you judge others by appearance, or by who they really are, inside?
“Preconceived notions are locks on the door to wisdom.” — Mary Browne
“Be humble or you’ll stumble.” — D.L. Moody