When Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these,” (Matthew 9:14) he was also pointing out that the kingdom of heaven belongs to those of us who are adults, in exactly the same way.
FIRST: If my life could possibly slow down just a little, I MIGHT have enough time to resurrect the “Weekly video-blog” feature that ran consistently for 16 weeks. However, today seems destined for another Derek Maul “no-show” when it comes to the You-Tube connection!
I do, however, have time to jot down a few notes about the new baby, Rebekah Mae. Yesterday I made the fairly audacious assertion that, “Children really are God’s answer of hope and promise for a world that so often forgets about what really matters.”
I thought I should “unpack” that a little bit today.
Some of the truth in what I’ve said comes from the fact that it is in serving others that we so often find meaning in our own lives. One of the most necessary transitions in personal mental and spiritual health comes with the realization that, “It’s not all about me.”
Some people understand this intuitively; some are taught, deliberately, by their parents; some discover the power of giving when they hook up with a mission trip or service project; some run into this truth accidentally, when some unique circumstance awakens compassion inside them….
And, sadly, a great many people never do make the life-charged connection between self-giving love and peace in their own lives.
TEACHERS: Children are such great teachers of the foundational principles that make life so meaningful. They are completely helpless, and they are 100% dependent on the love and nurture of their parents. Child-rearing requires a series of decisions to set selfishness aside and to re-invent the world in terms of caring for another human-being. Parenting, therefore, sets the stage for learning the most important lessons when it comes to personal meaning.
So one of the ways that “Children really are God’s answer of hope and promise for a world that so often forgets about what really matters,” is how they offer a boot-camp experience in terms of what does matter. When we pour ourselves into other people, it is then that we truly understand how rich and meaningful our own lives are.
Children are “hope and promise” as much because of what they accomplish in the way of healing the adults in their lives as they are “hope and promise” because of the possibilities inherent in their own future.
However, it is in our allowing children to heal us that we simultaneously equip those same children to grow up and live as the kind of hope and promise this world so desperately needs.
When Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these,” he was also pointing out that the kingdom of heaven belongs to those of us who are adults, in exactly the same way.
Always learning, always living in hope, always believing the promise – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.