when Jesus responded to the political question his disciples put to him, he didn’t answer first with words, but called a child over to stand in their midst as an example of what they should aspire to, when they think of ‘the kingdom’, or as we call it as Unificationists, Cheon Il Guk.
I was speaking to a mother this evening, who said her son has been making a condition of devotion the last 21 days. This evening he had been for a walk (it’s foggy, dark & cold out there right now). And he came back saying he wanted to offer a fast to prepare himself for getting married in the future, to prepare himself spiritually. he’s 18.
He was sitting on the sofa and so she handed him the phone. I asked him why he wants to do it now. He said because he feels called to and wants to act while he feels the calling, and before the motivation subsides. Smart guy.
The main thing that got me was this: here was a young man wanting to talk to me as the pastor, for some input and guidance (which I gave) but I felt like I was the one getting the guidance. He’s an unassuming kind of guy, doesn’t really get over to church on a Sunday much. Probably a bit too far and too early in the day. He doesn’t come across as a super religious kind of ‘big on faith person’, you know, like Jesus’ disciples were, or our Unification church leaders are. He’s a teenager.
But here he is thinking about his future in a way that made me sit up and say to myself, ‘I better do something to prepare myself for the end of this year.’ There was a simple unassuming sincerity that just reached out to me, all the way down the phone line. He wasn’t trying to be cool, or religious, or big.
There is this wish or hope to pass things on to a younger generation in our movement, but it doesn’t seem like many people really know how or really want to pass on the responsibility and decision making power.
My sense is that if we are the ‘powers that be’ we should remember who Jesus placed in front of his disciples as a model, before he said: ‘unless you become like little children, you will never enter….’
Most parents who have any ability to discern realise that their children are probably their greatest teachers.
Who ever you are, it’s all relative this age thing. Whether you are 15, 25, 45, or 65. Whether you are religious or not, have faith or feel agnostic. Don’t miss the chance to learn from the unassuming wisdom and purity of people younger than you.
Maybe your youngers can help show you the way to get closer to what you are really looking for. If we are looking for happiness, or looking for heaven on earth, we need to discover the innocence that is within us, that all children have an abundance of.