If somebody were to ask me if I could change the world when I was younger, I would have said, without hesitation and with complete confidence, “Absolutely! Why not?” Of course, my dreams were to be a police woman so I could drive fast or a professional soccer player like Mia Hamm, but I still believed that, somehow, I could change the world. At some point, unfortunately, the world changed me. I no longer believed that I had anything to offer, anything worth saying, anything of talent or significance. I think we all hit this point in life. However, I think only a few ever fight against these lies, crawl out of selfish thinking and poverty mindsets, and actually believe that they can change the world, like when they were young.
But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” -Mark 10:14-15
If we can define the kingdom of God as reversing oppression on earth, then Jesus is implying that it is up to children to change the world. I don’t think Jesus meant those ages two to ten years old are the only ones who will manifest the kingdom, even though they surely can. I think Jesus meant something more.
A child is tiny and fragile, but resilient to bumps and bruises. He is ready to jump and run and fly and fall. He laughs from his belly at things that are funny, and he cries from his heart at things that touch him deeply. He is completely dependent upon his parents to provide everything he doesn’t even recognize he needs. A child trusts until he finds a reason not to trust. He sees a world full of rainbows and flowers and grass and dirt, and will do whatever it takes to live life fully.
That’s who Jesus says the kingdom of God belongs to.
In class, names are used as examples who have impacted cities, nations, and the world for something greater than themselves, Martin Luther and Mother Theresa as our primary go to people. Martin Luther. Mother Theresa. Martin Luther. Mother Theresa. Martin Luther. Mother Theresa. Not to disregard any work or impact they made on the lives of countless people, but a somewhat scandalous thought ran through my mind the last time these names were referred to. What about me? Will people, decades and centuries later, grandchildren and generations from now, speak my name as part of that list? Will I be remembered for the impact made, for the imprint left on this earth?
The world is waiting for God’s sons and daughters to come forth, manifest His truth and love, freedom and redemption, healing and restoration. To live with a faith that runs and laughs and falls and cries and believes and pursues the reality that we have the power of Christ in us to change the world. I’m ready to be a child of His and change the world. Are you?