Living with children takes you continually back into the world of children. We all begin as a child but we "put away childish things" and move on to what adults do and how adults think. And yet Jesus said, unless we become like little children we will never enter the kingdom of God. The implication here seems to be that staying in touch with what it means to be a child is pretty important. Or life depends on it in fact.
The other day I was watching a beautiful film called Kokoro about the struggles of a gypsy clan trying to stay alive in France during the 2nd World War. At one point when a teacher from the nearby village came to convince them to send their children to the village school, one of the fathers said incredulously, "But we could never do that because our children are always with us!"
Two days ago Grace and Rain were have a noisy conflict over getting their bedroom cleaned up. Grace wanted to clean the room but Rain did not. It was getting louder and louder when I finally pulled Grace aside into the kitchen and attempted to help her get some perspective with the question, "what do you think Jesus would do in a situation like this?" She said "He would probably say some weird Jesus stuff." That reply caught me off guard and has haunted me ever since.
Young kids are honest, playful, innocent and they want what they want right now. They don't care much about worldly position, bank accounts, and retirement. They like to watch movies, climb trees, jump in leaf piles and eat cookies. They generally go to bed exhausted with out any worries about tomorrow. Being with my children always leads my back to where I began and this is a good thing. I remind myself of this because that gentle nudge to leave what seems so important for a walk to the park with my kids is otherwise too easy to ignore.