Mignon McLaughlin once said,
"Women gather together to wear silly hats, eat dainty food and forget how unresponsive their husbands are. Men gather to talk sports, eat heavy food and forget how demanding their wives are. Only where children gather is there any real chance of fun."
Ten years ago I would have questioned that quote but the older I get and the more time with kids I spend, I agree. Children don't worry about tomorrow or care about what other people think about them or spend endless amounts of time building a persona, they just allow themselves to be, to love, and have fun doing so.
I learned this lesson for the first time a few years back when over the period of a summer I spent many days looking after a five year old and I'm learning it again having a precious nephew in my life who is a toddler. Last weekend he spent at my place and he wasn't consumed by the bills that needed to be paid or worried about what was to come, he just wanted to be with the people he loved, having fun while doing so and so we did. We had a dance party in my office, played trains on the living room floor and pushed the monster truck around the house as fast as we could. And where I started my day consumed by all kinds of details and plans and worries, the more time I spent with him the more those things started to fade into the background and I felt myself come alive. So much so that I've had multiple comments since about how happy and at ease I look.
While my nephew is welcome to come over at any time and I hope we have many more memorable weekends together like this last one, I don't only want to live that way when I'm around him or the other kids that I love. I want to take what children have taught me and live it out everyday so that my life isn't one of a stressed out individual who is so consumed by the affairs of this life that I actual miss really living it and loving those around me.
Maybe that's why Jesus is so adamant that we become like little children because it is they who see life like it is and like it was always intended to be.
"[Jesus said] truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3)