in I Am Jonah

On Being “A Child Of God”

When I was little boy one of the biggest fights I had with my friends was not wanting to play outside. I hated the sandpit. I never saw the point of the sandpit. You played with sand and got dirty; why would I want that?! 

I made up for it with fascination with other things. I used to steal mom’s wire coat hangers and make car wires and stuff. Other memories; the world through the eyes of a little boy…

on being a child of God

Dad was a giant. Because he could open the ketchup bottles and jam jars mom couldn’t, I’m sure he could stop a car with his pinkie finger. There’s nothing dad couldn’t or wouldn’t buy for me when he promised. He stepped in and ’took care’ of the kids who tried to bully me. Many memories… Mom and dad were / are just the best!

Now that I’m  grown up I’m more aware of their limitations. I’m aware of some of their blind spots in their perspectives and worldview. There was a time I was naïve enough to think there was nothing mom and dad couldn’t do for me. I had and still have no doubt they have the best in mind for me.

This includes the times mom and dad had to discipline or correct me. Sometimes I knowingly misbehaved. I got disciplined. There were also times I was let off the hook; mom and dad gave me a hiding by being good to me. I felt bad for being mean to them when they chose kindness. 

Being a child was key to unlocking expectation to my parents. It meant that I had the expectation of protection from my parents. I never felt guilty for asking anything of them because, well who else was I going to ask? Though I didn’t appreciate the pain of the hiding I deserved, I knew it was their responsibility to discipline

I didn’t appreciate the manners they taught me when they did, but now I’m grateful… I was ever aware of my limitations and always leaned on my parents. With time they pushed me, helped me grow… So much…

On Being “A Child Of God”

Then he said,  “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. — Matthew 18:3-4

Jesus taught the importance of being a child. In fact, He said that unleashing the power of His kingdom was linked to us being children. Sometimes I want to be stronger than I really am. Yet, the truth is I really am more helpless than I portray. Humility… 

Sometimes I’m a brat. I resent being disciplined and taught. Being challenged to grow and take responsibility. 

Yet Jesus calls me to be… a child. It is when I am a child that I allow God to truly be the Father. My responsibility is to be a child. To have innocent and expectant faith. To never stop believing in His goodwill and plans for my life. To be ’naive enough’ to take God at His Word.

For God to truly be my father, I have to be a great child.

 

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