Kids can often teach us the most profound lessons about our relationship with God and how He wants us to relate to Him. It’s humbling to learn and watch from them. This week our four year old, Samuel, has been reminding me of some core truths as I think to the year ahead.
This week was a big week for Samuel: he went to his first ever swimming lesson. I was struck by how excited he was to start this new adventure and to learn from his teacher. After the lesson he was bursting with enthusiasm about all that he’d learnt and what he’d managed to do.
Then at breakfast the next day he looked at me square in the eyes and proudly declared “10+5=15- did you know that daddy?”
Being an extrovert I didn’t really think about my response until afterwards. I simply said “that’s great!” I could have quite easily said “yes I did know that and I’ve known it for about 30 years…well done.” But I didn’t. My joy was not based in the knowledge that I had, or that he had; my joy was in the relationship with Him. As he delighted in his relationship with me so I delighted in Him.
And I’ve been thinking about this as we look ahead for the year. There’s a whole load of stuff we’re planning, and ideas that we have and it’s a little like saying to God “10+5 = 15 -did you know that?” And God can say back to us say “yes of course I did – I created the world before you existed….” Or He can say to us as dearly loved children “yes, that’s great!”
Whatever we’re thinking of planning, whatever we’re learning – Jesus already knows, and as our hearts are aligned with Him, He delights in in us learning and journeying with Him. The end result, or what we’ve got worked out or planned is not as important as the journey we go on with Him.
So I’m remembering the lessons from a four year old as I step out in faith for the year ahead. Mistakes will be made, and there’ll be numerous u-turns. But I’m looking for the journey to be with my Heavenly Father knowing that He delights in me, just as I delight in Him.
Rich is based in the UK and leads 3DM Europe with his wife Anna. He has been involved with missional communities for 15 years – pioneering, planting & leading them as well as overseeing leaders across St. Thomas’ Philadelphia for more than 3 years. He has developed leaders’ training, coaching & consultancy resources and a coaching team to disciple leaders and support the work across the ministry. Rich is married to Anna and they have three children – Josiah, Esther and Samuel.