“Don’t worry, Jeremy,” he answered my thought. “I have the entire day planned out for you, so just relax and enjoy whatever the day brings.”
This was easier said than done. I began to realize how rare it is to not have every second of every day already filled with plans, social engagements, household chores, or chasing after kids. I also realized how strange it was to NOT be the one setting the agenda. I usually have a general idea when I wake up what that particular day will bring. In fact, I like to have a rough idea what a particular week will bring.
“At the Father’s Cabin you are encouraged to recapture the spontaneous, carefree attitude of a child on summer vacation,” Jesus said. “Remember back, Jeremy, to those long summer days when you woke up to no agenda and just a big world to explore? Floating sticks down the curb after a rain shower? Exploring the small woods behind the house that seemed to go on forever? Laying in the grass listening to the June bugs and birds identifying animal shapes in the clouds?”
Wow, if I could only go back….
“Jeremy, the Father created you in large degree to never lose that childlike spirit and wide-eyed wonder. Each day was to be a gift waiting to be opened and discovered, not a schedule to be kept and a list of demands to be met. The weight of stress and concern you daily carry is the inheritance of the first parents — Adam and Eve — who decided they’d rather be “like God” than remain like innocent children enjoying the Father’s world without needing to control it.”
I nodded, feeling the weight of Adam’s curse lifting as I imagined living my adult days with the same joy and carefree spirit I had as a child.
“Remember, Jeremy, if you truly want to experience the life of the Kingdom , you’ll need to become like a little child again (Matt. 18:3). Now, come and follow me. We have more work to do.”
This Kingdom kind of life does not come naturally, and is going to take some time and require some rewiring in my brain. I thought.
“Look around you, Jeremy, and learn from the birds and wild flowers!” Jesus continued. “Do they look stressed out? Do they try to control their environment? Do they let the weather forecast dictate their daily plans?”
A butterfly flittered about a wildflower that was dancing in the morning breeze. Morning birds sang their song with little sign of distress.
He continued, “They do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even the Queen of England is dressed as gloriously as these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith” (Matt. 6)?
“Well, doesn’t the early bird get the worm?” I protested. “And that requires effort and the lazy bird who over sleeps will eventually starve. You snooze, you lose, right?”
“Haha. Yeah, that saying is just another example of humans transferring their own angst on the animal kingdom. I’m pretty sure there are enough worms to go around.”
Just then the clouds opened up and it began to rain on us. As I scrambled to find some shelter, I noticed Jesus standing with arms raised and face turned upwards to the morning shower. As rain ran down his beard and across his big smile he proclaimed, “The Father gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike” (Matt. 5:45)!
I pondered his words in contrast to all the conventional human wisdom that tends to guide my life and realized I had a lot to learn about the ways of the Kingdom Life Jesus was opening up to me.
“Yes, Jeremy, see how the Father showers his blessings upon eager birds and lazy birds alike. Come on, what are you hiding under that tree for? It’s just rain! A little rain dancing and puddle stomping would do you well!”
As my defenses slowly crumbled, I joined the Son of God in the middle of the open field and embraced my inner 3 year old. With hands raised to the sky I let the rain drench my clothes and felt layers of self-imposed anxiety and fears wash away in that moment of child like abandonment.
If anyone would enter into the Kingdom of God, they must first become like a little child (Matt. 18:3) — a puddle stomping, rain dancing little child.
As I contemplated these words, and thought back to the days of my childhood, I’m pretty sure I heard a voice from the clouds above saying:
“THIS IS MY DEARLY LOVED SON, JEREMY, WHO BRINGS ME GREAT JOY.”