Become as a Little Child

Have you ever pondered those three words in the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy Kingdom come”? The Pharisees approached Jesus about it. And his answer to them is found in one of my most favorite passages of the Gospels (Luke 17:20-21):

          “People  can’t observe  the coming of the kingdom of  God.
           They  can’t  say, ‘Here  it  is!’ or ‘There  it  is!’  You see, the
           kingdom of God is within you.”

He’s speaking of God’s very Presence; and it is within you every moment of every day. The Presence of God lives in your heart as the indwelling Spirit of Christ. So, you are actually praying for His Presence to come forth from within you, and through you! 

So, how do we know when God’s Presence is . . . coming forth through us? Jesus stated emphatically: “I can guarantee this truth: Whoever doesn’t receive the kingdom of God as a little child receives it, will never enter it.” What is it that a child has, but is lost in our journey toward adulthood? There are, of course, various answers, such as innocence, trust, spontaneity, carefree, aliveness. But one quality that stands out in my mind above all the rest is resiliency. 

To be resilient is to have the capacity to spring back. When a child stumbles and falls -- whether as a result of his own doings or another’s – in no time at all, he shakes off the dust, picks himself up, and continues on his way as though the setback never occurred. She possesses a certain buoyancy or elasticity that enables her to spring back into action. 

So, have you matured into a rigid adult conscious-ness which has long ago put aside childish things? Or, when bent out of shape or boxed into a corner, do you speedily spring back into your happy self?

My dictionary states that resilience is “the ability to recover quickly from illness, change, or misfortune”. We are resilient if we adapt well to such challenges. Rather than react and succumb to victim-hood, we respond and find a way to rise above it all. 

A primary factor in developing resilience is having caring and supportive relationships. Other factors include a positive, optimistic attitude and the ability to deal with our emotions in a healthy manner. 

“Heavenly Father, may your indwelling Presence shine forth through my heart, enabling me to respond to the challenges of life . . . with resiliency.”

Authored by Reverend Virgil Brewer at Unity Chapel
January 1, 2012
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