I hope this Christmas finds you enjoying the birth of our Savior and spending meaningful time with friends and family. As 2007 nears its end, it can be easy for those of us in technical ministries (and anyone who does volunteer work at Christmas time) to be extra busy and feel the added pressure that comes with the extra work of December worship celebrations. Take some time to thank those you serve with especially at this time of year.
Christmas is an especially magical time for children. Remember what it was like when you were a child? The mystery of what would be waiting for you under the tree on Christmas morning or the special times with your friends or family can forever be in our memory. Why then as adults do we loose that wonder and become so serious? In Matthew 18:2-4 it says,
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. (ESV)
I have to believe we all would do well to be more childlike in our attitudes toward life, work and our spirituality. We should stop being so serious and stop taking ourselves so seriously. In this post from Think Simple Now, we are reminded of the simplicity and characteristics exhibited by children:
- Trusting (my favorite)
- Present only in the moment
- Strong Emotion
As you read those, have you noticed how many also describe Jesus? Kind of eye-opening isn’t it? If we are more childlike in this way, I believe we will be more Christ-like, more effective in our place of service, and better friends and spouses as well. Some things to try in 2008:
- Focus on the now – don’t worry so much about the past or the future. Give you whole attention to the present. Be fully engaged in what you are doing.
- Approach with wonder – Try looking at everything from a new perspective, even things that are familiar. Think about what is different that you haven’t noticed before (you might be surprised!)
- Laugh & play – Do the things you enjoy in life. What makes you happy? What makes you smile? Find those things and make time for them. They are that important. Tell jokes, smile and help others to the same!
- Be spontaneous – children are great at this (and so was Jesus). Do things “just because”. Run around the house, skip, buy and give gifts, don’t over think everything – just respond to your feelings. Let yourself express what you feel.
- Practice acceptance & forgiveness – What could be more important? As Christ taught us – love our neighbor as ourself. Ever notice how quickly children can forgive each other (or us) after they have been wronged? Too often we keep ourselves from forgiving because we are too concerned with who was right. We will experience greater peace if we just let it go and allow ourselves to just forgive – plain and simple.
I hope you will join me in trying to put some of these into practice this coming year. Do you have other ideas or suggestions on how to be more childlike? I would love to hear them!