Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears and fail to hear?
We are so fortunate at our church to have contact with a lot of families with toddlers. Our weekly toddler group, Tadpoles, is always well attended. It is lovely for parents are carers to be able to sit back (with a cup of tea and a biscuit!), and watch their children playing. Watching a toddler play is fascinating – much of the time very young children are contented in their own play world, indeed we can often watch a child engaged in something for ages, fascinated by what they are doing. This week, for one little ‘Tadpole’ it was a small plastic aeroplane. It is on wheels and if you push it and then let go, it does a little ‘taxi’ along the ground or a table top. The sheer joy he got from watching it travel over and over again was extraordinary, and his giggle as it travelled along (and even off the end of!) the table was infectious.
When I think about this in the context of today’s reading and ponder, I do wonder how often I really think deeply about things. How often do I let myself be fascinated by something, like he was with the plastic plane? How often do I pause a while to savour an experience? How often is my joy infectious?
Although much of what we read and hear in the news can be distressing and alarming, today’s reading and ponder reminds us of the importance of those things close to us. Lent for me, I hope, will be an opportunity for me to be more intentional about my thinking, more aware of that which is around me. I know that then, I will discover joy in the simple things, on my own doorstep and in places and people I know. This Lent, let us use our eyes and our ears… and hopefully discover an infectious joy.
Ponder… We have a danger in our society of consuming one experience after another without much reflection. When do you take time out to think about the significance of the things that are happening around you? Try to find some time in the next day or so to do this.
Pray… FOR OUR COMMUNITY Pray for toddlers and parents of toddlers. Often toddlers are not easy, as they learn how to stand their own ground and exercise their determination. Pray for patience for parents dealing with challenging behaviours. FOR THE WORLD Pray for young children worldwide. Quality nurture at this young age sows seeds for a good childhood and a good life ahead. Pray for opportunities for all children to be able to play safely.
Act… Watch the news. Pray for someone or something you have seen on it.