BY JOYCE PELLETIER
"The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them."
As grownups we become entangled with the busy-ness of life. Running errands here and there. We have to go to work, have to get the groceries, have to pay the bills. We get on a treadmill that doesn’t stop unless the safety plug is pulled or the timer on the clock runs out.
With a child, life is timeless. They don’t look at the clock or understand its purpose. They don’t worry about eating, they just ask Mom for a cracker.
Let me tell you about my two-year-old neighbor, Cari. We’ve been building our friendship. She can talk the leaves off the tree. Cari has taught me much about taking time to enjoy a few moments of simplistic conversation. In those moments I experience the gentleness of God.
When Cari comes to my door once a week, to drop off her dog Suzi for a visit for the day, she stands outside my door peeping her little head, then, when she sees me, she does her little happy dance and I join her with the storm door between us.
Later when she comes home from preschool, she chatters away, sharing her day, other times she’s just listening. Cari loves cherry tomatoes. Everyday when they come home, she says, “I’ve got to pick tomatoes!” She finds one, then starts eating, whether they are ripe or not. She is the epitome of joy and fun. It is a part of my day that I look forward to. Unconditional love!
As a young child, Cari, just wanting to go pick her tomatoes, She had a task to do, and went to do it. Didn’t Jesus do the same thing? He didn’t just go pick tomatoes, He became a man, lived like a man, learned obedience to God as all of us should. He, too had a goal to accomplish every minute of every day, just like Cari. It shows me we go about on our life’s journey, finding purpose, and being obedient to that purpose. Sometimes we just have to pick tomatoes. In the simplistic encounters with Cari, I’ve learned to take time to just listen and enjoy these types of moments in my life. Somehow, doing so eases the stress of the challenges that life brings.
Before long we will once again enter the season of Christmas. I am reminded of the little child who became a man, died on the cross, so I can be with him forever. We start by becoming a child, then we are fortunate to have the best teacher ever, and we learn to be obedient and just pick tomatoes.
I’m sure of this, that Jesus learned to play as a young child. The greatest message from Cari, is to enjoy the moment, because when the tough times come, He is with us still. What a blessing to have a time in our Sunday Service, when we focus on the little children. It reminds me, too, I was once a little child! How precious it is for us to make time for those moments and when we get ‘older’ we recognize the lessons of our Heavenly Father, who loves us so much, that He became a little child, Himself.
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