Daily Archives: 26th June 2015

“Become like Little Children…”

In Matthew 18:3, Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

The King James Version puts it that, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven”

Now that ‘enter into’ bit got me thinking. You see, throughout my Christian walk, I have held that verse in the light of my initial Christian ‘training’, if you like, where people told me that it means that you need to remain ‘teachable’, almost pliable, so that you can accept Jesus’s teaching in a heart that is ready to receive His word.

And while I agree with that, in that we do need to be ready and wiling to learn from the Master, I think there’s more in that verse. The key for me was in that KJV verse, where it said, Except ye … become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven”. It’s the ‘enter into‘ – as in entering into the spirit of something. Say you’re at a Church service, a Gospel concert, or indeed a rock concert. You’re not fully ‘joining in’ unless you ‘enter into the spirit’ of the event. You won’t get the full benefit, and you certainly won’t enjoy it as much as would someone who does enter into it.

waterfalls

And so it is with the Kingdom. To really enter into the spirit of things, as it were, you need to become like a child. You need to accept things with simple faith, in a trusting and carefree manner. It’s not complicated. You are allowed to ask questions, including the awkward “Why?” question which is both beloved and feared simultaneously by all parents! You can’t enter into all the benefits of the Kingdom unless you become like that. Think of it as a mindset that encourages the manifestation of the Kingdom in your life. Remember that “…the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17) Those three fruits are much more easily enjoyed if you come to Him with a childlike spirit, and experience the awe and the wonder of a child seeing things for the first time.

childlike-awe

In order to reinforce this teaching further, let me give you an example of the kind of mindset that is the antithesis of the childlike mindset. In most groups of people, sadly especially in churches, there are people who thrive on gossip. They complicate things so much and delight in spreading rumours and lies about fellow believers, and without discussing their ‘grievance’ with the victim….perhaps it’s a doctrinal difference or something and rather than talking about it with the person they have the problem with, they instead ‘warn’ their fellow believers against that person and his ‘dodgy’ beliefs. A dear brother of mine has recently been subjected to this treatment by ‘godly’ people who really should know better!

I find it sad that these people, who could have so much freedom and joy in Christ, decide to fill their empty lives with harmful gossip, hatred and other inane rubbish. This is why they ‘cannot enter into’ the Kingdom things, as they would if they were ‘like little children’. Come on, guys, there’s a Kingdom to be entered into! There’s righteousness, peace and joy to be had; Kingdom power to change lives…all if we’re childlike and trusting rather than ‘grown-up’ and serious.

In summary, then, I believe that when Jesus said that ‘those who don’t become like ‘little children’ cannot enter into the Kingdom’, He meant that they can’t enter into all the blessings that the Kingdom gives. This is because their attitude is not the delightful, carefree, laid-back approach to life that little children have.

landscapes flowers grass meadows wildflowers blurred background children_www.wallpaperhi.com_1

I think of my grand-daughter – she’s 5 – and her delightful sense of humour, her inquisitiveness, her spontaneity. I think this is the way that Jesus meant for us to live. It doesn’t mean that we’re not allowed into the Kingdom if we don’t have a childlike attitude, it means that by not being childlike, we exclude ourselves from the blessings. We can’t enter into it. If we’re all really serious about theology, sin and hellfire and damnation – and serious about gossiping about other people; concentrating on the negative all the time – then it’s no wonder we don’t appropriate what God has for us! We simply can’t!

 

00

Cloud Dancing over Cornwall, 25th June 2015

After posting the ‘High Flight‘ blog entry for 25th June, I went up and did some High Flight for real. Flinging my ‘eager craft through footless halls of air’, I ‘wheeled and soared and swung, high in the sunlit silence’.

It was quite a memorable flight. Typical British pilot’s understatement, that. Throwing the aeroplane around the sky, using clouds as ‘anchor points’, so flying under, over, around the towers of piled cloud, swooping and soaring, rolling, banking, diving, climbing and turning. This is what I call ‘Cloud Dancing’. I can only do that sort of thing when I have no passengers on board, because I would not want to subject them to that kind of g-forces – pulling a maximum of perhaps 2.5 to 3g is not for the unacclimatised….

So here’s a few photos and videos to let you share in some small measure what happened that day.

Firstly, here’s my start position at 4,000 feet over Colliford Lake, Cornwall, UK:

IMG_1403

IMG_1404

As you can see, the clouds are perfectly positioned for dancing around, just a couple of hundred feet below me. The idea is to use that bit of altitude to build up speed on the run-in to the cloud dancing.

Here’s my first video of the cloud dancing. It might not look like much through the camera, but the feeling is indescribable!

And then another, shorter video with some emphasis on the lovely colour of Colliford Lake.  A free airshow for the folks parked in the carpark there, although at 2,500ft above their heads they wouldn’t have seen all that much.

A note for any pilots viewing these videos: nose drop in the turns was intentional!
And finally, on my way home, I always pass the magnificent old warrior, the lovely English Electric/BAC Lightning F6 XS936 at Castle Air, Liskeard. This time I decided, as was only fitting, to stop and pay homage to this dignified old lady. Here she is, complete with dummy Firestreak air-to-air missiles.
IMG_1408
IMG_1410
Gorgeous. What a fabulous day out!
00