While taking my 2-year old grandson Zayn for a walk the other day, we walked by my oldest son’s car. He had stopped by to see his sister and her two boys. While walking by the car, Zayn said something unexpected. While holding up his little hands he said, “What a wonderful car.” My son’s car looks nice, but it is an older car and nothing that would cause me to say “What a wonderful car.” However, a 2-year old saw the beauty of his uncle’s car.
The next day Zayn was watching his mom pour out old, dirty rainwater from an outdoor fireplace. While he was watching her he said, “That is a beautiful waterfall.” His mother saw dirty water that she needed to pour out; he saw a beautiful waterfall.
While being a grandparent, and a proud one at that, this quote by David Suzki seems to fit: “One of the joys of being a grandparent is getting to see the world again through the eyes of a child.”
Being around my little 2-year-old grandson, I am learning so much about the simple things in life. I am amazed by his positive outlook toward life. The more I am around him the more I understand why God encourages us to become as a little child and to have a child-like attitude.
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3 Matthew 18:3And said, Truly I say to you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
American King James Version×, New International Version).
God wants us to have a childlike, grateful, submissive and faithful heart. As we grow older, we have a tendency to become angry, cynical and ungrateful. While a child has yet to be touched by the concerns of the world.
What are the attributes of a child that we can learn from and how?
A child is innocent.
A child is trusting.
A child believes without complication.
A child is humbled.
A child is content in the little things.
A child has enormous faith.
A child is awed by majestic splendor. Even with dirty rainwater.
A child takes to heart God’s Word in all its simplicity.
Here are some things we can learn and adopt in our own life to gain a childlike attitude.
Children trust their parents completely. God also wants us to trust and rely on Him in the same way. When Zayn’s mom is gone from the room even for a few minutes, he will stop and ask, “Where did mommy go?” He loves, needs, and trusts his mom so much that he wants her presence at all times. We should have that same attitude toward God. Our minds should always be on God, all day long because we trust and need Him that much.
Kids can get excited about anything. Zayn was excited just watching his mom pour out that dirty old rainwater, because he saw it as a beautiful waterfall. Every activity with him is a new adventure, a new opportunity to explore, a new fun and interesting challenge. We to should approach things in life the same way. Meeting new challenges with excitement! Look at all the positives instead of seeing all the negatives.
3. Short memory
It is amazing how a child can go from tears to being happy. Kids do not analyze past experiences in detail like we do as adults. They can be angry with the parent one minute, the next minute kissing them with all the love they can give. They do not harbor anger or resentment as we do, because they have a short memory. We as adults need to develop a short memory of all the negatives wrongs that have happened to us. We should learn to “let it go” just live like our children do. Life is too short to let past pains, betrayals and disappointments linger and fester in our minds.
My little grandson has learned two very important words: “thank you.” He also has learned how to express love and appreciation to his mom. One day while his mom was putting makeup on, he looked at her and said, “You’re beautiful mommy.” She was so touched that it brought her to tears. To think that her sweet little 2-year-old said such an awesome thing to her. We should all have a heart of appreciation. Express appreciation every day to your family, to others, and especially to God. It makes a huge difference in your mind. You cannot have hate and appreciation at the same time in your mind. They just cannot exist together!
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1 1 John 3:1Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew him not.
American King James Version×, NIV).
Ask God to give you a childlike attitude.