For, here, among the plastic dinosaurs, blocks and cars, I’m thinking anew about what it means to be a child.
My wife and I have come to visit our newest grandchild, less than a day old. As I hold him in my arms, I’m reminded of Jesus’s admonition: “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3) When I have meditated over the years on what it means to have faith like a child, words like dependent, trusting, and simple come to mind. This baby boy embodies all those.
But playing with my two-year-old grandson brings another word to mind.
The world, to him, is full of potential. Here, on the floor, I’m engaging him in possibilities. Animals ride on blocks like ships. Blocks become towers. Dinosaurs can talk. I realize that play, at this age, is exploration of what could be. Every time he invites me to come to the floor with him, he anticipate something new will happen.
Later, when we take him for a walk in his stroller, the outside world holds the same freshness. New things are all around. We point them out and teach him the names for them. He intently watches and listens, so that he will be able to repeat them to his parents upon our return. With him, curiosity is serious business.
I wonder what the first waking thought was for the disciples each day. Perhaps it was, “What are we going to eat today?” That would explain all the fussing about bread. But I hope it was this: “I wonder what amazing thing Jesus will do today?” Surely there must have been a surge of adrenaline that came with consciousness at dawn – anything, ANYTHING could happen with Jesus around.
Floor time is teaching me that having a childlike faith is to live each day with the same anticipation. God has a world of possibilities he wants to share with me – insights to stagger my mind, conversations to prompt my heart, connections to remind me how much he loves us.
For with Jesus, no day is ever ordinary.
Jesus, help us to start each day with the anticipation that you intend to do amazing things. Give us the expectant faith of a child.