In Sunday school, and in the Bible, we are taught to be like little children. I've always kind of passed that off as something that wasn't that important. I mean, sure there are a lot of things that are good about kids, but does He really want us to be like KIDS?? Certainly not MY kids! Ha! If that was the case, the world would be full of nothing but Macaroni & Cheese, Wonder Pets!, and messes, messes, messes! Or, in the case of my other child, it would consist of poopie diapers, waking up every hour in the night, and lots of rug burned knees (He is learning how to crawl).
Then I had a little realization. I wouldn't call it an epiphany, which I classify as a moment of great realization that almost makes you fall to the ground. But it was definitely a realization that made me go, "Huh....yeah....that is right...." I had the realization that children, up to a certain age, love unconditionally.
Sure, children are teachable, which is also a good characteristic that I'm sure we are all supposed to have. Children are also generally kind and innocent, which are also good things to be. But I think the main thing that we are supposed to learn from children is to love unconditionally.
Ella taught me this. Ella is the friendliest, most outgoing kid I've met. She is automatically friends with EVERYONE she meets: adults, big kids, little kids, babies, animals, EVERYONE. She calls them her "new best friend" and is SO excited to see everyone and is pretty distraught when we have to go home from them. Ella is definitely "no respecter of persons", as the scriptures say, which I interpret to mean - everyone is equal in her eyes.
She also is completely forgiving. No matter what anyone does to her (mostly meaning me) she automatically forgives them and is "best friends" with them again. Sometimes I lose my temper and am a little too harsh on her. She is upset for a little bit, but as soon as I lighten up, she immediately is my "best friend" and wants to cuddle. Seriously - how often do we get our feelings hurt, or are offended, and we IMMEDIATELY lighten up without the person apologizing or anything? I don't know about you, but I definitely DON'T! She doesn't hold a grudge and doesn't even need an apology.
Ella is also trusting. Now, I know this can be a good and a bad thing, but I'm talking about it in a good way. She doesn't think anyone is going to hurt her feelings and she only expects the best from people. I don't think she can possibly fathom anyone being MEAN. I, for one, have a hard time opening up to people about my true feelings because I'm worried people won't understand or will judge me or whatever. Ella doesn't care. She loves everyone and tells everyone how she feels.
Now, I know Ella is only three and she isn't perfect, by all means, but she is my daily example and reminder of what it means to be "liken unto a little child." If a three year old can be more Christlike than me....then I seriously need to step it up.
What do you think?