Childlikeness & its benefits

Tobin Hart, PhD, author of The Secret Spiritual World of Children, writes about how children are naturally attuned to the spiritual. He says:

“Nearly all children experience ways of knowing and being – outside of any training or rituals. They include awe and wonder, intense feelings of love and compassion, startling moments of wisdom and a deep curiosity about the profound nature of life. They are naturally attuned to the spiritual.”

There are many ways that we can learn from children and cultivate our own forever innocence, childlikeness and receptivity. 

Here is what Christ Jesus says about children:

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. (NKJV Matt 18)

And said in a slightly different way:

 “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me.” (The Message Matt 18)

I have the joy of teaching Sunday School, and this past Saturday I went to prepare my lesson. At the time, I was feeling really bogged down by some plans my husband and I were trying to sort out. I couldn’t tell which direction we should go in or when. The limitations of my human sense of things was frustrating and confusing. And it was tempting to just stew about these plans rather than actively engage in the preparation of this Sunday School lesson. 

But I had just gotten a bunch of new lessons from a previous teacher so I decided to check them out. 2 of the lessons used a concept of a “thought bucket”; you and the children decide what can go in to your thought bucket and what can not. We adapted one of these games and tried it out. The game went like this:

You get 5 buckets (we used tupperware) and think of 5 temptations i.e. discouragement, fear, lack, revenge, hate, lust, etc. You then think of 5 “weapons” of God i.e. love, kindness, patience, meekness, trust, hope, faith, confidence, etc. We wrote the 5 “weapons” on a piece of paper and crumpled it up on in a ball. You then try to make a basket throwing the “weapons” into the buckets. If you make it, you go on to the next one. At the end, each bucket should have a “weapon” in it. And I thought it was really fun to unfold the weapon paper and see which weapon conquered each temptation. 

At the end of this exercise, I felt totally refreshed and joyful! The simplicity of this exercise reminded me of the simple, spiritual Truths and how easy it can be to practice them. Sometimes as adults we make it so complicated! But it can be as simple as determining if the thoughts in your bucket are from divine Mind, Spirit, or from the carnal mind, error. Our Father takes care of all the other details. All we have to focus on is what is going into our consciousness. 

It reminds me of this thought:

“Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously.” (Science and Health, p. 392)

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