Have you ever noticed that children view this world through a different lens than we do? They say the silliest things and then they say the most profound things. They go through life with a contagious sense of wonder. The simplest things fill them with amazement. They are captivated by everything that is around them and they aren’t afraid to tell you about their heart’s deepest longings. They also will tell you the truth bluntly, not caring at all if it’s offensive. Sometimes this can get them in trouble but often times it makes us laugh. It’s obvious that childhood is a unique stage in life.
But something happens when we get older. We somehow lose that sense of wonder that we used to have as children. We no longer see the world as a place overflowing with infinite amounts of opportunities. Instead, our vision shrinks as we find ourselves consumed by the craziness of our busy adult lives. When we grow up we forget what it means to be a child. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If we were to slow down and think about how a child perceives the world I believe we would realize that there is a lot that we can learn from a child.
Children See Things Differently
One of my fondest memories that I have from camp was something a 4th grader showed me. Rock-N-Water offers an amazing living history program in the Spring for 4th graders. This program allows 4th graders to experience history in a fun, unique, and interactive way. I have been apart of this program for the past six years and it has brought me so much joy to be able to work with children and teach them about God and the Goldrush. If you want to learn more about this program you can find more information about it here.
During one of these trips, I was leading my group on a short hike to a small beach next to the river. The group of 4th graders and their parents were enjoying the refreshing sight of the rushing river. I read a short scripture verse to the group and then encouraged them to think about that scripture for short while. Afterward, I asked them to share anything they thought about during this quiet time. One boy came to me and showed me that he had written the word sin in the sand. He wrote the words next to the river where the waves were lapping against the shore. Then he said that Jesus washes away our sin just like the waves would wash away his writing in the sand. I was blown away by the amazing picture of God’s forgiveness that this boy had created.
The simplicity of what this child did to illustrate such a deep message will never leave me. I never would have been able to come up with such a beautiful analogy of how Jesus’s blood covers our sin on my own. It took the eyes of a young child to show me the simplicity of the gospel message. I learned a very meaningful lesson that day about what children can offer us if we just take the time to listen.
What We Can Learn From Children
If children see the world with such different eyes from us, can we learn from them? It seems that so often we see ourselves as the ones teaching the children, but what if we flipped it around and let the children teach us. I believe that children have a lot to offer us that can help us live our lives better. If we were to decide to live each day like a child, we would find so much more pleasure in life. In the Bible, Jesus even talks about children and tells us to be like children.
“And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “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.” Matthew 18:2-4
Jesus loves the children and tells his disciples to be like the children. I know it may seem like a weird concept to wrap your mind around, but I think there is a lot of helpful things we can learn from children. Let’s take a look at how seeing this world through the eyes of a child can benefit us.
Children Live in the Moment
Children don’t worry about the future or the past, they live in the present. If you ever want to know what it looks like to just simply enjoy life in the present, take a moment to watch a child. Watch as a child dances around as if there is no care in the world. Listen to a child talk their heart out to you without caring at all about what others think.
We either worry about the future too much or we dwell on the past too much. We rarely truly live in the present. The best moments in life happen when we learn to let go of the unknown future and a difficult past. Only when we live in the moment, as children do, can truly enjoy the moment we’re in.
Children Thrive in the Outdoors
I firmly believe that childhood is strongly connected to the outdoors. My childhood was spent mostly in the outdoors. To be honest, it was boring inside and that’s why I always went outside to play. Children have such huge imaginations, it just makes sense for them to be outside where their imagination can grow free. Studies have even shown that children need to have time outdoors each day in order to have a healthy development.
Who says that going outside and exploring God’s nature has to end when we grow up. Whenever I am in the outdoors I feel like I am able to connect with my inner child. There is something about the outdoors that my soul resonates with. If we want to be more like children we should strive to be outside more. Not only is it good for our health, but it’s good for our minds and it will help us unwind and de-stress. Plan a day to go outside and explore nature. Take a hike or invite some friends over for a water day. Let your inner child come out as you immerse yourself in the great outdoors.
Children Believe the Impossible
My favorite thing about children is that they have amazing faith. They will believe anything you tell them. Their minds are not capable yet of weighing all the odds that we adults are so good at doing. They go through life believing everything is possible. When you go through life believing anything is possible you will discover that a lot of things are possible. I am quite jealous of the fact the children are able to have such faith. I will admit that I have missed out on many opportunities because I didn’t believe it was possible. If I at least tried, maybe I’d find out that some of those things were possible.
The Bible says “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26). Only when we have that child-like faith, that faith that believes the impossible, will we be able to do impossible things. What is keeping you from believing the impossible? Embrace the faith that children have and don’t be surprised when things start to happen.
To live like a child is to live as if each day is a new adventure full of new possibilities to explore the world. When life gets busy our tendency is to overthink, over-stress, and overwork ourselves. I want to challenge you to unlock your inner child and view each day with a new filled sense of awe and wonder. Take some time to reflect on how children can help us live our lives better. Let the children in your life be your teacher! Go outside, explore the world with new eyes, believe the impossible, and dance like no one is watching you!