I was transferred to our Day Care Center two weeks ago and am now personally experiencing the deep wisdom of toddlers. Within their Kool-Aid stained grins, freshly-sucked-on thumbs, and precious chubby cheeks lies an innate knowledge of the world around them that simply cannot be taught except by their Maker Himself. Not only "out of the mouths" of babes come the most basic and true lessons about life, but simply out of their own actions and way of living can we adults learn a thing or two about why we're here.
Last week I was playing with several toddlers in the exciting world of large plastic structures, wide open spaces, and outside voices in the Day Care Center known as the gym. Watching little ones enter the space is telling in itself as some of them are so overtaken with joy to be in such a wonderful place that their whole bodies shake with excitement, their arms flail and stiffen in enthusiasm, and their soft little shoe-laden feet scamper across the floor in double time.
After a few thrilling rounds of Ring-Around-the-Rosy, several of the toddlers wanted to play on a small wooden teeter-totter shaped like a boat. So, their imaginations brought them to an ocean of pretend, and they set sail in the midst of the loud din of several other games in full-swing around them. I was enjoying witnessing how free the children were and how much they naturally seemed to desire being with one another. Besides the occasional dispute, in general, they welcomed one another immediately and found great happiness in giggling and carrying on with more and more of their peers. It only took about forty-five seconds for the fact that the small toy could only hold five children to be a problem. After being ousted off-board, one of the young girls who thought she had a right to a much longer time on the toy, threw herself onto the plastic gym mat in a fit of anger.
Immediately her playmates froze with a fear that seemed to arrest their freedom. Their faces searched their surroundings for an explanation as to why their unity had been so violently interrupted. Within each of them the Lord had obviously rooted a deep call for communion with one another. They desired that bond with their friends, or even mere acquaintances, to continue and were stilled with confusion when it was disturbed. Thankfully another gift of toddlers is their often short memory span. After a few minutes, the others let the distressed little girl back on-board for another trip, and unity was restored.
How often do we, seemingly so much more "complex" than our youngest generation, desire unity and communion to prevail in our lives? Unlike these playful little ones, we have the reason, intellect, and so the responsibility to make choices to "maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." (Eph. 4:3)
- Sister Marysia, FSGM