For a little over a year, I taught children ages three through seven in children’s church. Throughout that year, I never ceased to be amazed at how enthusiastic the children were about simple things. It seems like they have found a wonderful secret that makes almost everything exciting. As we grow older we often forget that secret and become entangled in the complicated struggles of life. While we cannot and should not stop maturing, I believe in maintaining a childlike simplicity throughout life, even into adulthood.
When I was teaching the class the Creation story from Genesis, we made a shoe box diorama. One boy cut out the sun to go in it. He was so excited as I helped guide his scissors in a circle on the yellow construction paper. It was a huge deal to him that he got to cut out the sun. Anytime I put the box on display he would pull me over and point to the sun and tell me, “That’s my sun!” with this big grin. He was so proud about it, and he’d found more than just contentment in cutting out a yellow circle; he was truly ecstatic.
I had a very large multipurpose room for my classroom, so if I had an exceptionally small class or if I finished my lesson and activities before the sermon then I would play games with the kids. One thing they always loved was for me to hold them by both hands and spin them in circles while their feet lifted off the floor, so they seemed to be flying. Their little mouths were stretched so wide in smiles that emitted laugh after laugh as they spun around and then staggered around for a minute before falling from the dizziness. Just going around in circles like that could always keep them more than entertained; they were thrilled.
As a student I often become stressed over my deadlines. Stressing does little more than give me headaches. While I need to be aware of my work and schedule, I can also learn a lot from the children I taught. Sometimes I need to take a break and takes things in from a child’s outlook. Cutting out a yellow sun, spinning in a circle, or finding excitement through simple things with a genuine childlike simplicity and optimism may brings adults joy, enthusiasm, and hope despite the complications of life they face each day.
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