Most of us have a little difficulty culturally with the notion that we need at times to revert to our childhood innocence. After all, we’ve spent our lives “growing up” and assuming all the responsibilities that “growing up” entails. Of course some of us perhaps have been accused of never having grown up but that is another issue.
Jesus tells us in the scripture readings this morning that we need, as His followers, to change and to “become like little children” if we want to enter the kingdom of heaven [Mathew 18: 1-5, 10].
Think back to your historical childhood and recall the adult or adults in your life who were there to protect you. It may have been a parent or some other relative, or a family friend or perhaps a teacher who you leaned on for protection. Learning to swim resonates with me as I held fast to my own father as he encouraged me to move the boundary a little as I learned to trust his guidance and support or my mother who was always there to help me pick up the pieces if I spilled off my bike or a little later in my childhood when I experienced real doubt about who I was and what I could become.
The essence of these memories is that I had parents who were protectors and I could always rely on them to take care of me. Some of you may not have been as fortunate as me to have “parent protectors” but all of us hopefully experienced a level of “adult” protection during our childhood and if we didn’t we can now look forward to that protection as adults if we follow the invitation of Jesus to “become like little children”.
The purpose of the invitation of Jesus to us to become like little children is to instill in us the realization that we are not alone in our environment without a protector and the world does not rise or fall on our shoulders. If we suffer from an unhealthy need to be self sufficient we need to remind ourselves that everything that we have we have at the instance of our loving Father. We mature as Christians as we become more and more dependent on God and, of course, letting go and letting God be is evidence of that happening in us.
Convince yourself of the truth. Your heavenly Father wants you to come to him with every concern no matter how small or insignificant it may seem to you. If you are having trouble getting there then ask him to intervene by healing you. The Father, who is your real Protector, wants to reach out to each of his adopted sons and daughters to encourage them to persevere and to rely on Him for whatever physical, emotional, material, or spiritual assistance he or she may need to find their way home safely.
Learn to trust in the providence of the Father and He will reassure you with His love and support.