My wife and I had just finished a quick workout at the gym. We drove separately that day and were about to pull out of the parking-lot when I glanced over and saw April smiling at something. Naturally, I looked to see what it was, and boom! That’s when I saw her. An instant smile jumped on my face, too. She was somewhere between 4 & 5 years old and lost in the bliss of the most wonderful skip you have ever seen. Have you ever seen a kid caught up in a skip? It’s the best, right? It isn’t that they’re just skipping, I think it’s more of the bliss part that gets me. It’s like joy is trying on a new pair of legs. What is that? While driving home. I found myself trying to remember. What made me wanna skip at that age? I know that’s weird, but we all did it, right? Want to hear something weirder? I couldn’t remember why. I had no idea why I did it. Do you? What in the world could be the motive of a 4-year-old’s happy skip? Maybe skipping is what happens when innocence combines with wonder. Good grief, when you’re that age, everything is new so everything has wonder. Or maybe it’s what happens when boundless energy touches endless curiosity… a skip! Who knows, it could have something to do with having a brand-new set of legs. Maybe that’s how God designed us to break ‘em in. Would you take a minute and go with me? Would you let your mind wander waaay back? Try to remember what innocence felt like. Let me attempt to repaint the picture for you.
You’re 4 and a half years old, and that half is a really, really big deal. You’re out and about with mom, and without the slightest warning, she walks you up to one of the most interesting sidewalks you’ve ever laid eyes on. She doesn’t seem to notice but you rise up on tip-toes, anticipation building. Your bottom begins to bounce up and down, fidgeting like you have ants in your pants. O yeaaah, someone must have known you’d be coming down this sidewalk because it’s laid out in perfect squares, just the way you like it—perfect for skipping! You let go of the safety of mom’s index finger and think… I’m gonna skip the fire out of this thing! O yeah… I’m gonna show this sidewalk what new legs are for!
If you’re smiling right now, that was one of my goals. I wanted you to remember. I want to remember, too. That’s exactly why April and I were smiling as we watched that little girl skip a path that we can sorta remember, but never physically walk again: innocence. You’re probably thinking, why in the world would you spend so much thought on a kid skipping? It’s because I think there’s something to this, y’all. I believe the reason that we’re so taken with joy at a kid skipping is the same reason that Jesus was. It reminded Him of something. It reminded Him of somewhere. Jesus never forbid kids to come to Him in scripture. Remember what He said? He actually corrected his disciples when they tried to stop the kids from approaching Him. He said, “for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Whoa… in the light of Jesus’ words, suddenly the foot-falls of that little girl’s skips take on considerably more weight. What if Jesus is giving us and His disciples a clue through the eyes of innocents. What will heaven be like? It’s as if Jesus looks at the 4 -year-old skipping her way into his arms and points to her: “Heaven is like that,” like a new pair of legs for skipping. He picks up another child and tosses him in the air and watches the little boy’s smile explode into a big-belly laugh and says to His disciples, “Heaven is like that,” like a new laugh from a heart not weighted down by this world. A third child grabs His leg, looking up, and says with wide eyed wonder, “I want to see a miracle!” And as brand-new eyes meet the eyes of the Ancient of days, Jesus cups that little boy’s face in His hands and says to his disciples, “Heaven is like new-eyed wonder, believing for a miracle!” I hope this helps today. Like with much on the Forge, I grabbed my notes, started scribbling furiously and prayed my way through this journal entry. I don’t know… God shook me in the sweetest way when I saw that kid skipping. What does this have to do with your life or mine? Maybe nothing. But maybe, just maybe, when you walk down a sidewalk today, you’ll remember this post and that Someone knew that you’d come walking down this very path today. Maybe theinkforge is your “sidewalk” this morning. Maybe we both needed reminding that there is still a path of joy to be walked out. What if we took Jesus up on the advice He gave his disciples? What if these old legs tried on new joy for a change? What if we let God wrap us up in His arms and remembered how to big-belly laugh and let the cares of this world pale to His eternal affections? And what if we actually believed Him with the stout faith of a 4-year-old? You know, now that I’ve hammered this out on the Forge for a bit, I’m thinking that the sidewalk hasn’t changed that much at all. In fact, it’s just how I used to like it… it’s perfect for skipping.