Receive God’s Blessing

By Wim van Klinken, director of International Headquarters

“Let the children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.  Mark 10:14–16

For several years a cat has been a joy since our family adopted it as a kitten. In our eyes it has been perfect: friendly, playful, wanting to be petted by all, and responsive when we call his name.

We addressed it as the little brother of our only child, Max, who was 11 when Smokey entered our family. Often, he would “cry” when Max left for school.

When my wife started to work outside the home, we were a little concerned that Smokey, who never was outside, would feel lonely.

We started considering adopting another cat, a new concept for us. After visiting the shelter we were told that bringing a new cat into another cat’s multiyear territory has a certain risk.

We decided not to risk it, much to Max’s disappointment.

After our decision, Max kept arguing and pointing to the advantages of having another cat. He kept taking us to the shelter whenever we were in the pet store. Although the caretakers at the shelter shared their negative experiences, they suggested bringing Smokey to see how he and a 2-year-old spayed cat would react to each other.

It was a  perfect match, and we now are blessed with two friendly, playful, and responsive cats. We realize we would have done this long ago, if only we had listened to our child.

How often do we let our children come to us, listen to them, and make them part of our decision-making? How often do adults tend to look at the possible problems, afraid of losing what we have? What can we learn from our children who look at the world as a world of possibilities, a world full of God’s blessing?

Prayer for Peace:

God of blessing, let us seek the innocent wisdom of children. May we emulate their positive nature and see the world as they see it. May we love as unconditionally as they love. May we learn peace from them.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Connecting with God as Center

Each day this week connect with God through journal writing. Use a notebook, journal, computer, or any available paper. Prayerfully center on your intent to open yourself to God’s presence and share what flows from your heart and mind.

Your “letter to God” might include thoughts, questions, feelings, needs, artwork, quotes, and scriptures, or it may take the form of a prayer, psalm, or poem. Try to write at least five minutes each day. What do you experience? Is this an effective way to connect with God? What surprises you? What images or questions from God emerge? What deepens or changes in your relationship with God, Christ, Spirit?

Peace Covenant:

Today, God, I will release my cynicism and doubts. I will adopt youthful and re-energized faith.

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