Finishing my impromptu “to do” list in the corner of my notebook for sermon notes, I looked up in time to see him. Anthony, holding his father’s hand, galloped slowly to the altar and tossed a dollar bill into the air. It float gently down into the offering box on the altar, but he was already trotting down the opposite isle and out the door to children’s church still holding his father’s hand. Anthony is four.
I know. I’m not supposed to make a “to do” list in church, but sometimes that’s all that goes through my head when I bow for prayer, even the offertory prayer on Sunday morning sometimes.
I figure if I can get it down on the page, I can get it off my mind:
schedule interview for article
Adrian’s work schedule
call Mom about Easter lunch
baby shower gift
While I’m gathering all my responsibilities into one neat, doable Tower of Babel on the page, Anthony’s tossing his paper bill up to God not bothering to wait and see if God’s basket will catch what he exuberantly let go of.
I wondered about the difference between Anthony and me. His playful gait, his tossed offering, his delight (how light) versus the furious scribbling of the important “to do” list in my margin during the offering.
There are two verses about children sandwiched right between Jesus’ take on divorce and the story of the rich young ruler. They are oddly placed and curiously without explanation.
The children were brought to Jesus for his touch, time, and prayer. The disciples deemed them too trivial for his attention, but Jesus said let them come. “The kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14).
Maybe—just maybe—the most faith-filled, child-like thing I can do is toss my heavy responsibilities into the air, watch them float because they weren’t so heavy after all, delight in the way God’s grace will certainly catch them, and take my father’s hand to gallop carefree into the rest of my life and the kingdom of God.
I’ll still need to do the things on that list. By toss it, I didn’t mean chunk it. I mean to take the load off, to find the joy in the offering, and to breathe a little easier. I mean to trust God to lead me through it all, even the grocery shopping, and to remember that life can be light and fun.
Maybe we should come as a child.
Do you ever need a new approach to life?