This past week I had the opportunity to take part in a sports camp for a Title 1 school in the Houston area. The camp was put on by a wonderful ministry called Bridging For Tomorrow, whose mission statement is “to build a strong body of engaged community members by increasing civic participation and program involvement, and by identifying and equipping community leaders.” They are a wonderful organization run by even more wonderful people and they are actively taking part in making the world a better place, one relationship at a time.
The kids that attended MEGA sports camp immediately grabbed my heart. Most come from families in or near poverty, from broken homes, and they need some love. Though they started hesitant, they quickly warmed up to the counselors and had a blast. After a week of sports and bible stories it, like all good things, had to come to a close. As we sang songs in the closing rally, I began to just look at the faces of the children dancing and singing. They were captured by a sense of wonder that many of us have lost as we’ve grown up. On my drive home that day I just began to think, what does it really means to have a childlike faith?
Jesus says this in Matthew 18
“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Children blindly trust people. When they’re young, they’ll hold on to their parent’s hand and will snuggle with Mom or Dad when they are afraid of the dark because they have this idea that parents can fix all problems. They blindly trust.
They also see life differently. Some of the huge issues and problems that we as adults face are of no interest to them. They care about the simple things in life, and they make life, in some ways, a very simple process. As we get older, take on more responsibilities, study the Scriptures more, and talk to more Christians, we sometimes make it so much more complicated than it needs to be. Jesus says we need to become like a little child; we need to have childlike faith.
What I appreciate the most about children is that they have space in their lives for wonder and awe. They sometimes think the smallest things are just wonderful, and they are fascinated by some of the simple things of life. Just a simple magic trick of making a ring disappear can leave them in awe and entertained for hours. Children don’t have it figured all out, and that’s ok with them. They know they have a loving Father in heaven that will provide all they need, so why would they worry?
O’ to have that same sense of trust.
A sense of wonder has been lost
William Blake said this, “Know what it is to be a child… to see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower; hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.”
We might not have hours to chase fireflies around like we did when we were children, but we can still view the world with the same wonder. Really look at the world around you as you drive into work every day. Or better yet, take different routes each day and notice new things you haven’t seen before. Take that art or dance lesson that you’ve always wanted to try. Sign up for a college course on a topic that interests you. Engaging your curiosity and wonder for life, helps keep you open to new experiences. And those things you never thought you’d do, or never thought you could do, often end up being some of the best experiences of your life. Fight to look at the world through the eyes of a child.
I will most likely never see those kids from the MEGA sports camp again, and that’s a hard thought to wrestle with. I can hope my small voice in their life made some kind of difference. That they can cling tight to the words “I’m proud of you” and “that God loves you” when they feel forgotten. Those kids don’t have a lot, but what they do have is wonder.
I like Lukas Graham and as I listened to his song Mama Said, it made me think of those kids.
“I know which place I'm from
I know my home
When I'm in doubt and struggling
That's where I go”
I can only hope and pray they cling tight to the sense of wonder and when they are in doubt and struggling they know where their eternal home is.
Don’t lose the wonder. O’ to see the world through the eyes of a child.
May I never lose the wonder,
oh, the wonder of Your mercy.
May I sing Your hallelujah.
For more information on Bridging for Tomorrow, you can access their website here: http://www.bridgingfortomorrow.org
Seriously check it out, They are awesome.