Recently, I went to the Early Learning Centre where the littlest of the St Andrews kids hang out.
At 9:00am in the morning, I was surrounded by openly excited, very small children, who were completely enthused about sharing the details of their openly exciting lives.
As far as I could translate, here is what I found out:
One young girl has five Elsa dolls.
One young man found a grasshopper on his way into the ELC.
Another young lady needed to clap her hands repeatedly because (in her words) she was too happy to stop.
Lastly, another youngster was curiously interested in the tread of my shoes and let me know about it.
As children grow up, pass through various year levels of school and stages of life, almost always, that exuberant enthusiasm is whittled away, unfortunately. Instead of showing the greatest joy about grasshoppers or happiness, it sometimes seems like it’s replaced by distracted grumpiness.
Yet this outward change is not the whole story. In fact, inside the young people, as the transformation continues, is that same child who wants to express his or her excitement for life about different things. Adults don’t lose this, either. It can be eroded by struggles of life, but somewhere inside every person is a kernel of joy that longs to grow into something bigger.
Jesus understood this which is why, when surrounded by a group of children, Jesus told the adults – “Let the kids come to me, don’t stop them!” The kingdom of God is revealed to them in their open-minded, open-hearted view of the world. In order to feel and understand what God has for us, have faith like them.
Maybe over the course of the next weeks, you’ll have an opportunity to share the stories of joy inside of you. I hope you’ll find joy in that!