As I looked around my church’s Sunday school, I realised just how enlightening it can be to hang around children. Like every lesson learnt, we need to look closely before we see just how many important lessons children can teach us.
Just like a mirror, children are a reflection of who we are and who we eventually become. A mirror at times points out our flaws (for example a big pimple on the nose or mismatched clothes) and indirectly prompts us to correct ourselves.
Today, these beautiful mirrors have a few lessons we could learn from them. I hope as you read, you will remember one or two lessons yourself.
More than once, I have been touched by how children often seem to easily forgive. It seems much easier for them to let go of some things, whilst we who are older and have more to let go of, rather hold on tightly to whatever hurt we have experienced. On several occasions, I have seen a child sulk because this person has torn her book or this person has sat at his place. However, after some minutes pass, they are themselves again, and the best situations even see the child playing once again with the one who offended them…at least, more often than not.
*SELF CONFIDENCE / APPRECIATION OF ONESELF.
A phone camera has an amazing way of letting a crying child quiet down with fascination. Suddenly, the face that was ‘washed’ with tears lights up with a smile or curiosity, with their own faces staring right back at them. With children, their own face is an image worth looking at over and over again. If children are not afraid to accept themselves for who they have been created to be, why should we who are much older be discontent or compare ourselves to others?
*DESIRE TO FIND OUT MORE.
Children ask the most amazing and random things, like “Why have you done your hair this way? Are you getting married?” or “When will you come to my house?”, when they barely even know you. With children, every moment is an opportunity to explore, to learn something new. That is a trait we could equally develop, in order to broaden our scope and experience new possibilities.
The hardest heart could be melted by the sight of a brother placing his arm protectively around his sister when a bully is approaching, or a cousin eager to share a toffee he has earned for answering a question with his cousin, or a little girl trying to carry a baby who is almost her size. Kindness seems to come easily to children, for one reason or another. And as time goes on, we also need to make a conscious effort not to let the circumstances of life harden our hearts to others and their situations.
*TAKING CARE OF WHAT HAS BEEN ENTRUSTED TO US.
I saw a little boy crouched on the ground, apparently looking for something, with a very worried, almost tearful, expression on his face. “I can’t find my offering money”, he said when I asked him what he was looking for. To him, losing the money his parents had given him was like his whole world collapsing.
How many times do we take for granted the little things that have been entrusted to us? And when we lose those things, what effort do we make to get those things back?
Children have a way of loving without any ulterior motives. Once they form an attachment to you, they stay devoted to you.. Even when you disappoint them, they find a way of still holding on to that love, without judgement.
How unconditional is our love for others?
Is our decision to stay faithful and kind to those God has blessed us with based on only how good they are?
I’d really like to love without judgement just like children do.
Of course, there are some children who are really tough to handle and who are usually referred to as stubborn. Even they however teach a valuable lesson…. Look for the good in people, using patience and care, but firmness. It sometimes takes an extra effort to bring out the best in some people, but it is really worth it in the end.
Children are a mirror of our very own lives and the things that truly matter. We can CHANGE THE STATUS QUO by being an example to them as they are to us. That way, when they grow, Ghana will be in the hands of a great generation.
So whether it is a little sibling, cousin, neice, nephew, grandchild, son or daughter, or even a pupil or neighbour’s child, we have VALUABLE MIRRORS staring right at us everyday, through which we can see ourselves and learn a lesson or two.
“CHILDREN ARE A GIFT FROM THE LORD, THEY ARE A REAL BLESSING. ” – Psalm 127:3