Annoying Kids and the Kingdom of God

There’s a television promo running right now that aptly captures the current state of my relationship with God.

It’s a commercial advertising The Family Guy – a show of which I am NOT a fan and which I do NOT recommend watching. However, in the commercial, the baby of the family, Stewie, stands beside his mother’s bed as she tries to rest and repeatedly calls her name like this:

Mom! Mom! Mommy! Mommy! Mom! Mom! Mummy! Ma! Ma! Mom! Mom! Mommy! Mom! Mom! Mummy! Ma! Ma! Mom! Mom! Mummy! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mum! Mummy! Mom! Mom!

Lois tries to rest quietly until she can no longer take it and cries out, “What?”

“Hi.” Stewie then replies.

In the gospel of Mark chapter 10, people start bringing little children to Jesus but the disciples shoo them off – scolding them for bothering Jesus with little kids. Jesus insists they let the children come to Him and tells the disciples “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.

Receive the kingdom of God like a little child.

I’ve heard many sermons on this topic and sometimes I wonder if the people speaking on the wonder of little children ever spent long, long days raising them.

Kids are open, trusting, amazing and awestruck by life.

But they are also energetic, curious, messy, straightforward, blunt and maddeningly persistent when they want something to the point of being downright annoying. OK, well, there’s one Bible verse I’m living out. I definitely receive the kingdom of God like a child.

My children used to play Stewie’s game with me. Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Over and over and over until I finally gave in and said “What?” “Hi.”

Often it was just a silly game but sometimes it rose out of a need for attention or connection or a childish test to be sure I would respond in case of a real emergency or just because a child needed reassurance that I was there. Even when it was a silly game, though, it was evidence to my children that even if they were terribly silly and annoying, I would be patient with them and not lash out at them for simply being children.

I need that reassurance from God. There are times in life when every circumstance seems to highlight for me that I am not in control, that when push comes to shove I am very small and wildly vulnerable and that in a battle with the universe, I don’t stand a chance. I feel like the child that I am.

In those times, I need to hear from God pretty frequently. I need to know He’s close. I need to know He’ll be patient no matter how much assurance I need, no matter how often I show up with nothing more to say than “Hi, it’s me again. Just checking on you.” I need to know that even when I’m silly or annoying or needy or clingy or small and scared, He is there to be my Father and to love me and to not shoo me away because He has more important things to do and more important people to see.

Father! Father! Papa! Father! Dad! Dad! Dad! Father! Father! Dad! Dad! Da! Da! Papa! Father! Father!

What?

Hi.

I believe receiving the kingdom of God like a child means coming to Him as I am. Sometimes I’m annoying. He gets that. Sometimes being with me is like being alone with a toddler for a long rainy afternoon with no electricity and no break in sight. He loves me anyway. Sometimes I knock on God’s door again and again and again and again asking the same question over and over. He is patient because this isn’t a religion, it’s our relationship and it’s real.

Do you annoy God sometimes? Then maybe you get it, too. Maybe you’re receiving the kingdom of God like a little child.

Dad! Dad! Dad!

What?

I love you. That’s all.

I love you, too, child.

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3 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Amazing what we can learn from kids, huh?! Love this post, Lori!

  2. Cheri says:

    “Sometimes I knock on God’s door again and again and again and again asking the same question over and over. He is patient because this isn’t a religion, it’s our relationship and it’s real.”

    Have you been listening in on my prayer time?

    Love the post,
    Cheri

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Lori,

    I finally made it over here. I still think that you would be great on The Examiner.com. If you’re interested, please let me know. I’ll be back to read more when I’ve unpacked a little more. See what God has been doing in my life through my Blog on WI 😉

    Ms. “V”
    http://www.victoriapoller.com