My son is in love with dandelions. He has told me that dandelions are his favorite flower because they are, "so cute". It's an absolutely precious sight to behold him running as fast as he can toward a patch of dandelions yelling, "Oooo! Dandeewions! Dandeewions!" And he picks as many as his little hands can carry and presents them proudly, "Wook mommy! I pick it fo' you!"
Of course I love his enthusiasm. It is so sweet, so innocent. And every time I see him marvel over the multi-petaled, bright yellow flowers, I wonder why I can't react the same way. But I think I know why.
I know dandelions are weeds.
Angie Smith, in her book Mended, said it this way:
I'm sad to say that as an adult, it's a lot harder to feel the same kind of pure joy I did when I was little. I suspect that's true for all of us. By the time we hit adulthood, we just know too much about living in the reality of a sin scarred world to pretend well anymore.
But maybe it doesn't have to be that way, not entirely. There are definitely worldly realities adults need to be aware of to appropriately care for themselves and their families. We also need eyes to see the broken, the hurting, the innocent victim. But I do speculate there are some areas of the world we allow into our lives that are not necessary for accomplishing any good purpose and only result in clouding our child-like faith lenses.
Assuredly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it. Luke 18:17
And another verse comes to mind:
Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. James 1:27
Maybe the recipe for childlike innocence can be found in keeping the stains of this sinful world off your clothing as much as possible. The world knows that dandelions are wretched weeds that ruin a perfectly green lawn. A wide variety of sprays and pellets for killing these weeds can be found at any hardware store. But to my son, who has never been told that dandelions are weeds and doesn't have to care for the lawn, dandelions are vase-worthy beauties.
Maybe the Lord wants me to embrace childlike faith in order to keep myself unspotted from the world and it's ideology that identifies Christianity as a weedy nuisance and develops it's own poisons designed to kill. Certainly there are many aspects of this life that can be filtered, modified, maybe even eliminated completely in order to maintain a childlike innocence. Notice, not ignorance, for that would be foolish, but rather what can be altered in my life so that I can appreciate even a dandelion for it's golden shade of yellow and having soft petals and being crafted so carefully by the Creator.
What aspects, you ask? Well that's for the Holy Spirit to work in you. And remember, what keeps some of us unspotted from the world may look very different from the things that keep others of us unspotted (Romans 14). But maybe we should all reevaluate how necessary it is to invite things into our lives that jade us and remove the magic and mystery of life's faith journey.
Every day I am more and more convinced that the Lord gives me glimpses of His kingdom through my sweet little boy. And lately as I watch him my heart has been pondering this idea of childlike faith. Not childish, but childlike - quick to love, innocent, rarely in a hurry.
So friends, let's seek God's kingdom with the enthusiasm of a little child and ask for wisdom every day to reveal the areas in our lives where the world has spotted and stained.
And maybe next time you feel especially crushed by the weight of all things worldly, you should stop and take a minute ... to smell the dandelions. ;)
What would you add? What childlike characteristics do you think are precious in the Lord's sight?