Can we be like kids?
How are kids, exactly? Are they innocent? Carefree? Curious? Imaginative? Easily duped? Yes and no. It all depends on their ages and life experiences.
But one thing most of them can do – at least for a few moments at a time – is suspend whatever bothers them, relax, and PLAY.
This week, my younger two kids have been on Spring Break. Their school’s schedule is different from my older son’s and we’re not planning a family vacation until summer, so there were would be no “getting away” from our day-to-day. It was incumbent upon me to make plans to keep us from climbing the walls.
We did some closet cleaning and clothes shopping, but I also wanted to incorporate some fun, so we went to the aquarium, played mini-golf, and visited (brace yourself) IKEA!!
I don’t know why IKEA has become a playground for our family over the years, but we can go there to buy a few organizer bins and spend hours. Yesterday was no exception.
Maybe it’s the bright, happy yellow and blue logo that sparks our endorphins, or the Swedish words we can’t pronounce – bjorksta, lustigt, or djungelskog, anyone? Better yet – the hundreds of inexpensive household trinkets. Or perhaps it’s the tasty food in the cafeteria, and the simple, functional furniture. Personally, I like the small designer showrooms – because I secretly dream of living in a tiny home with very few possessions. What’s funny is, on most trips, we don’t even buy very much (except the frozen meatballs, we always get lots of those). But whatever the allure…we all love it.
And so my kids went into full IKEA mode. In the Showroom, they each claimed a perfectly-planned model apartment as ‘theirs,’ and pretended to serve one another in the mock kitchens. They sat at desks, opened and closed cabinets and closets, made themselves comfy on sofas, and spun round and round on bar stools.
And of course, in the kids’ section, they re-lived their “little” years, trying to fit into every playspace item that used to be a favorite.
And what did I do? I took pictures.
Because for adults – watching kids be kids is easy. But being kid-like is hard.
I didn’t roll around on the couches or put my feet up on the coffee tables as if I were home watching TV. But maybe I should have.
And when my daughter yelled, “Mom, come try out this mattress,” I declined, thinking of all the people who had already done that. Ick.
The fact is, I was thinking about adult things – people I’m worried about, stuff on my to-do list – albeit with a smile on my face as I watched my kids.
As grown-ups, we carry burdens of concern, and we have a hard time setting them down. We offer up prayers and have to remind ourselves not to take them back again – to let the One above handle our issues.
Always trying to find resolutions on our own when we know that He is in charge is prideful. It shows we lack faith.
But we can start again. Every second of the day is a new opportunity to re-surrender.
When Jesus said, “Let the children come to me,” (Matthew 19:14) he wasn’t just talking about kids. He was also talking about a state of the heart. “[T]he kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these,” He said. When we become trusting and humble – when we open ourselves to the grace of this very moment – we will find Him there, and it will give our souls respite, a place to relax.
I need a place to go that’s far better than my own mind. Even better than a vacation or – need I say it, the make-believe spaces of IKEA. I need to be like a kid – finding joy at the feet of God.
I need to re-surrender and rest in Him. How about you?