“Unless you turn and become like children…”

by DanWolgemuth on June 8, 2018

There weren’t many on the route from Colorado to Nebraska. The migration pattern typically leads in the other direction. But we had Lake McConaughy on our mind. And so, we rendezvoused at a camp site… three camp sites to be precise.

It was our first family camping weekend, with eight adults, ten children (our grands), a pop-up camper and three tents. Inflatable rafts and boats, and a shoreline full of throwable rocks for the little boys and girls. And yes, lots of marshmallows.

On Saturday, we had made plans to go boating on the sizeable reservoir on the North Platte River. I had a pontoon on hold with a local marina. Unfortunately, the wind kicked up and the waves followed suit. Expectations were high… and I pressed on with the rental. My strategy was to stay within a cove that was protected from the wind. Within a few minutes at the helm, I made the decision to navigate out into the open water, just to test the conditions. Once out beyond the cover of land the waves immediately swelled to an unacceptable level. Spray from the crashing waves blasted over the front of the boat. Adults in the front of the boat did their best to tough it out… but I knew in an instant that my adventurous path was not wise.

As I was shifting my direction back into the calmer cove, I glanced at Mary. In a glance she conveyed the concern of a mother and grandmother. I had acted alone, and not in the best interest of my passengers… except, perhaps the grandkids at the back of the pontoon.

While the adults at the front were quiet and stoic, the kids in the back squealed with delight. They cheered with each bounce, they yelled with the intensifying spray, and they applauded the exploration into uncertainty….

They trusted me in the waves. Whether their faith was well founded or not is another topic, but they did. Gleefully. Confidently. Pops was at the helm and so no harm could come. He had this.

“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3–4, ESV)

My grandkids were not courageous and brave… they were confident and trusting. They weren’t oblivious to the waves and the spray and the wind, they simply knew that I would never lead them into harm. In an instant, the waves were not the enemy, but their friend. The splash and spray were not disconcerting, but an opportunity for joy.

Children. Not oblivious to the waves, but confident in the captain.

I have so much to learn from them.

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