In the middle of that busy, ram-the-roads day, I take my lunch to a local park. It is in a pretty secluded spot, and while there are a few others there on lunch break sometimes, it is often a quiet place where I have a half hour to enjoy the peace.
The scenery lately has been beautiful. Situated on a river, the leaves peaked in their full autumn glory and the acorns have fallen thick on the ground. There is park benches and a swing set that always sit empty, squirrels darting back and forth beneath.
But not this day.
I saw his face as his mom parked their car beside mine. He didn't seem to see me, his only purpose was to get out of the car as quickly as he could.
I didn't hear any words exchanged between his mother and himself. She didn't instruct him on what he could and couldn't do. He merely exited the car. No words were needed.
He ran across the grass as fast as his un-coordinated legs would take him. He waved his hands in the air with excitement, then grasped the swing and carefully balanced on the seat. He began to pump his legs and go higher. Gaining full balance and control he again waved his hands in the air, overcome with excitement.
A smile on his face, pure joy emanating from his entire being.
And he kept swinging. Back and forth, back and forth...with no signs of growing tired. In fact, he was still there, still overjoyed, when I left for my next lesson.
Watching him brought a smile to my face. The happiness was contagious. I don't know what others around were thinking. Some gave him strange looks...after all, it is a little out of character to see a grown man, nearly 6 feet tall, swinging in a park. It took a second glance to realize the truth: that the grown man we saw had a mind as a little child.
As I watched him, I was reminded of how we look in the eyes of God.
We try to look and act grown up. We're adults, after all, and we bear the weight of the world on our shoulders. We have responsibilities, burdens, appointments and schedules.
But when we come before God, it must be as a little child.
The boy on the swing helped me see what that means.
His life may not be easy. Depending on his comprehension, it may be very difficult and frustrating at times. But none of that was visible. Only pure joy, not worried about what had happened that morning or what might happen later in the day, or week...or lifetime. Just complete trust, faith, and joy that wasn't dependent on his circumstances.
And that is the attitude I want to have.
Not an attitude that ignores responsibility or doesn't "man up" to things that need to be done. But the child-like faith that just trusts God to work things out and have things under control. The child-like faith that is joyful, not based on circumstances, but based on my God who holds all of us in the palm of His hand.
And so to the boy on the swing...thank you.
To the mother waiting patiently in the car...thank you.
And to the Holy Spirit who convicts our hearts and shows us these areas we need to grow...thank you.
I'm looking forward to my next day in the park.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Linked up to: Weekend Wind-Down