". . . 'Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.'" (Matthew 18:3, KJV).
Over the Labor Day weekend, Mark and I had the opportunity to go to Medford, OR to visit family and favorite places. It was a wonderful time filled with adventure around every turn. When we go any place, now-a-days, we like to "fly by the seat of our pants". This makes the adventure even more delicious to us because we try and step out of our own way and allow events to unfold naturally. To this end, we travel with our sleeping bag in the car so we can just pull over and sleep whenever we want.
We left at 11pm Friday night and drove to Redding where we finally pulled into a truck stop to rest for a few hours. In the morning, we took off for Oregon and arrived in Medford just in time to have lunch our our favorite Chinese restaurant. It was divine sitting there enjoying the food in warm, familiar surroundings, anticipating our visit with the grandkids.
In Southern Oregon, we are the proud grandparents of three. Levi, 11 years old, and the twins, Grace and Kara, 8 years old. We are known as the "fun grandparents", because we are not around all the time, so when we are, we take full advantage and let out all the stops in having a good time with the kids. This visit was no exception. The girls and I decided to make a fairy house in the woods behind their house and Levi and "Papa Mark" played "Rock Band" with Mark's three daughters. Dave, our son-in-law cooked a fabulous dinner of fish and pork tacos, and allowed me to assist him in his beautiful big kitchen. It truly was a great visit. We were exhausted, but happy we were able to spend the day having so much fun. The next day, we planned on driving to our favorite place along the Yuba river before heading back to the Bay area, but as we drove down the hill from the house, and reminisced about the day, we decided we needed more time with the grandkids. So we called back up to the house and arranged to pick them up and take them to town the next day.
I am soooo glad we had that extra bit of time! We took the kids to Barnes and Noble, had ice cream at Dairy Queen and ended up at our favorite store, Fred Meyers where we explored just about every aisle twirling in the shopping carts and hiding from each other, playing with the toys and deciding on what other little goodies needed to find their way home with the kids. They settled on whoppy cushions and noise makers, and a few little things for the fairy house. We played games in the car, and impressed the kids with our "magic tricks", picked up a pizza and finally went back home, once again exhausted but happy to have had another day with our precious grandkids.
I noticed something very cool about our time with them that brought the scripture above to my mind. What does it mean to be converted and become as little children? As I watched our grandkids, I noticed how they were so innocent and thrilled with every little thing that happened. They were able to move from one thing to the next without having to go through the pain of "letting go". Each experience they were having was like the best experience they have ever had. They lived each moment in the moment and did not have a care about the future or the past. When we were showing off our "magic tricks", they were so enthralled with what was happening and their minds were completely open to what powerful creators they were. We did not have to convince them of their abilities, or help them move beyond past traumas; we simply introduced an idea and they totally knew they could accomplish it. There was no doubt! No self-confidence issues, or self-esteem garbage; just innocent acceptance and a remembrance of what their natural state of being truly is.
The kingdom of heaven truly is within each child, because they have not allowed others to dictate what they should think or feel yet. Each moment in a child's life is magical, and they understand how to create happiness in their own lives. What is the kingdom of heaven if not that wonderful place of divine happiness and joy?
I am ready to convert and be as a child again. I'm ready to remember the joyful, magical being I truly am. I'm ready to shake the dust of other's opinions of how I should live my life off my shoulders and rise once again to the realm of complete happiness. Who wants to join me? Are you ready to convert and become as a child?