One of the best things about kids is their absolute abandonment. Most of the times, kids are so unaware of themselves that they are willing to do things that as “civilized” adults we would never do. I remember one time when I was younger we were at a baseball game and I asked some man sitting next to me if I could borrow his binoculars. My parents were aghast but up until they expressed their astonishment I didn’t see anything wrong with the request. Similarly, while I was in Kenya my favorite people to talk to were the children. I didn’t feel any judgment or an awareness of my huge cultural ignorance. They were friends with me from the moment we shook hands.
Absolute abandonment is usually accompanied by wonder because it means that you are able to find the extraordinary in the ordinary. When you are free from contrived restraints, the opportunities for joy are boundless. I think this is why Christ commands us to become like little children; children take pleasure in what they’ve been given and find a myriad of ways to enjoy simple things. My niece can play with a piece of tissue paper indefinitely. As is often the case, at Christmas she was more enthralled with the packaging then the actual gifts. She found amazement in recycled tree bark during a season in which many adults are trying to ensure their status through their acquisition of possessions. Children discover that through enjoying what they have, further acquisition is unnecessary and they are amazed at their good fortune.
May we view all of God’s gifts similarly.