Be Childlike...It's OK

Seeing people through children’s eyes and reacting to situations as they do is something I often long for.

With age, we grow in responsibilities as well as discernment. We grow in the number of hats we wear any given day, and we juggle numerous tasks and expectations.

Along the way, we sometimes lose our child-likeness, taming our reactions to people, or measuring outward displays of emotions at events or in situations. We often feel what our children feel, but our external, visible responses are markedly different.

We are adults. We should control our emotions, our reactions, our thoughts. We must be well-disciplined, and set a good example for our children, so they can witness behavior to model.

But there are certain people and events that bring out the inner-child in me, and I don’t want to suppress my feelings or reactions when opportunities arise to interact. I want to be child-like.

Last week, I attended the Southwest campus Pastors Appreciation Service. I witnessed children boldly exhibiting the very feelings and emotions I feel inside as an adult, but rarely act upon.

Every time I see my pastor, I want to wave to him enthusiastically, as this young man did. My pastor has changed my life forever, as well as that of my family. I am somewhat introverted, and frequently don’t want to bring attention to myself or “create a scene”. So instead, I may do a small hand wave where I barely lift my hand up by my side and mouth the words “Hi”. I feel like this young man does inside, but my pastor sure wouldn't know it.

I often want to hug my pastor, as this young lady did. When he speaks from the pulpit on Sunday, when he models godly leadership, when he tweets out his inner-most thoughts and encouragement, he is speaking to our souls. He has lifted my family in its’ darkest hours, and doesn't even know it. He has provided encouragement to pursue our life callings without having direct, specific conversations about it. He has walked with my family through joys (births, graduations and weddings) and tragedies (deaths, disease and divorce), guiding us back to God’s word and truth though it all, when we were too overcome to think straight ourselves.

My heart sings praises of thankfulness for our pastor, just as this young lady’s heart sings. She sang a solo at the Pastors Appreciation Service, honoring her pastor and all that he does as he works selflessly and tirelessly for her and her family. I don’t think I could ever stand in front of a group of my peers and sing as she did, but I feel like singing a special song for our pastor with my family and friends. I can mentally picture it.

My pastor has impacted me as an adult much the same way the children had been impacted at the Southwest campus Pastors Appreciation Service. But you wouldn't know it, because generally speaking, I have tamed my responses to people and events, as we often do as adults. Couple my adult-tamed responses with my introverted nature, and I am denying those who have impacted me and my family so greatly with the blessing of sincere, and externally obvious, appreciation.

The children have convicted me to become more outward in displaying my emotions and feelings. We are called to love one another as we love ourselves, and our pastors are certainly worthy of all of our love and appreciation.

Take a moment to think about your pastor. Does he know how much you appreciate him, and how he has impacted you and your family?

If not, be childlike. It’s OK.

-A Christian Academy Parent

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