Y’all, I’m falling in love all over again. We have a new crop of first graders on the Children’s Hall, and already they’re teaching me things I didn’t know. Like Reason #37,219 Why Kids Are the Best. What is reason #37,219? you ask? I will tell you!
But let me share a little story first. Then you’ll see for yourself.
So our FABULOUS first grade Sunday school teachers asked the children to take a turn as teachers for a few minutes and help the teachers learn about the kids. What is your favorite color? What do you like to do? How do you picture yourself? How many people are in your family? That kind of thing. Then they posted their drawings and answers to all the questions on the bulletin board in their room, so that everyone could enjoy them. I peeked in yesterday to take a look and PEOPLE! What they wrote made me want to get a megaphone and yell CITIZENS OF GREENVILLE: YOU MUST SEE THIS! But I have no megaphone and I try not to irritate the people I work with too much so that they will let me stay here and continue to do my job. So I tried to behave myself and only grabbed two or three or four people just minding their business, trying to get their work done, and made them listen to me read what they wrote. I really wanted to drag them over to the bulletin board itself so that they would get the whole effect, but I try to minimize my excitement which might come across (especially after a particularly strong cup of coffee) as craziness.
But for you, my friends, I have pictures! Because I can share them with you and you won’t be forced to stand there in the hall and humor me. But trust me, no humoring will be necessary because these are so great!
Okay, so the responses I’m focusing on are to the question, “What are your favorite things to do?”
What do you expect the answers to be? Really, I’m asking you. Think of possible answers and tell them to the computer or your phone or whatever you’re reading this on. And then look at these!
People, this child’s favorite thing to do is to JUMP!
The boy could pick anything and this sweetheart picked jumping!
Words can’t describe how happy this makes me. How awesome that he is that thrilled with himself and what his body can do- to lift himself off the ground by his own power, into the air and back down again- that he is so delighted with the simple act of jumping that he lists it as his favorite thing to do!
Ready for the next one? It’s also awesome!
Her favorite color is pink. What is her favorite thing to do? People, SHE LIKES TO CRACK ROCKS TOGETHER!
How great is that? Give that child a pile of rocks and she will be beside herself! Delighted! Think of how fun her birthday party could be!
So what does this mean? What does this have to do with Reason #37,219 Why Kids Are the Best?
Here’s what I think. Kids are the best because they are EXPERTS at experiencing genuine wonder, which to me is the same as an involuntary, instinctual praising of God, even if they’ve never heard of God. Kids see and praise and appreciate without thinking. We adults used to do it too, but we don’t so much anymore. Nowadays it takes beautiful poetry or great writing or moving music or prayer to drag us back to being able to stop and really see the amazing things under our noses the way we used to do when we were children. To see the wonder of what jumping feet can do. To hear the sound of the rocks cracking together! To see what’s inside them if they break open! To watch the dust fall. To feel the power in the vibration!
Whether they realize it or not, I think they’re praising God! They’re like young psalmists, leaping and jumping and cracking rocks and seeing animals in clouds and being joyful for the creator.
And we get to see and remember when we were praisers too.
I’ll leave you with a mini-scene I love from one of my FAVORITE movies, Amélie, (rated R, so it’s not for kids but I love it!) where we discover one of Amélie’s favorite things to do.
We praise you, God of raspberries! We praise you, too, for kids who share their wonder and prompt us to examine the world we may not see anymore!
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. Psalm 96:11-13