My wife likes to quote a former manager of hers (named Nancy), who said, “Naps are wasted on the young”. The idea is that kids, once they get to a certain age, don’t like to take naps anymore. For parents I’ve talked with, that often means the end of quiet time for them each day, or maybe a chance for a little rest of their own. Active children want to keep going, and not stop – they seem to think that resting will cause them to miss out on something.
We’re often the same way in our adult lives. We don’t intentionally add junk to our calendar – most everything we’re committed to today probably had a compelling reason at one time – but we end up with packed schedules, anyway.
If we look at younger children, though, they will often take the opportunity to rest when they need it. Sometimes, when he was really young, one of my sons would just stop and fall asleep on the floor where he was playing. We’d pick him up, and put him in his bed, or maybe we’d put a blanket over his curled-up body to keep him warm. Other times, my sons’ play would turn to something peaceful and calm – maybe just lying on the floor and building, or lining up toy cars. In any case, they enjoyed living their lives, both activity and rest, rather than needing to stay up late or play just “one more game”.
If you have the opportunity this week, watch a little child play – without schedules, obligations, or stress. With that in mind, read from Matthew 19:13-15, where Jesus made time to pray with little children. He didn’t schedule an opportunity to “maximize quality time” (not that quality time is a bad thing), nor did He push them aside (like His disciples wanted to do). He just spent time with them.
Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” After laying His hands on them, He departed from there.
Matthew 19:13-15 NASB
No matter how old you are today, don’t forget that Jesus is still willing to spend some time with you, His child. Let some of the grown-up structure go, and spend some time with Him, to prepare you to spend time with His other children.
A version of this devotion originally appeared at fcccanton.com , as a Study Guide for the September 15, 2013 message, “Getting Control of Your Schedule”.