Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | March 4, 2015

March 4, 2015 “A Bowl of Cherries”

“And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.” (Mark 10:16)

Good Morning Everyone. This is the Day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

A few years ago, there was a best-selling book released by author Robert Fulghum entitled “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” It is a book full of those childhood lessons learned and remembered…some silly, others quite profound. Here are a few of Fulghum’s “lessons learned:

1. “A giraffe has a black tongue twenty-seven inches long and no vocal cords. A giraffe has nothing to say. He just goes on giraffing.” 2. “Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.” 3. “Take a nap every afternoon.”

Other observations are more profound. I particularly like this one: “Every person passing through this life will unknowingly leave something and take something away. Most of this “something” cannot be seen or heard or numbered or scientifically detected or counted. It’s what we leave in the minds of other people and what they leave in ours.” 

Children remember things they are taught, be they silly or profound. To this day, for some reason, I remember something the Superintendent of Schools said to me when I was in second grade. I was a chatterbox, and my teacher had placed my desk against the wall near the classroom door. On his way out, he asked me how I was doing. I told him that I was always skipped over when papers were handed out because the other students forgot that I was in the room. He smiled and said, “Well Mike, life is just a bowl of cherries.” I had no idea what that meant, but I have never forgotten it. Why? Who can say? But I now think it was put there in my memory treasure box to remind me that children really do listen to what adults are saying, so it is of utmost importance that our speech leaves them with something worth remembering. Jesus illustrated this to his disciples in the way he treated children. To them, as is sadly true of many an adult, the kids were an annoyance. But to Jesus, they illustrated the nature of the Kingdom itself, and he made that plain to his disciples, to the parents of the children, and to the children themselves. He welcomed them with open arms. He blessed them. In other words…he welcomed them and made them happy, and taught them things worth remembering. Theologian Fredrick Buechner got it right when he wrote,

“You can’t be too careful what you tell a child because you never know what he’ll take hold of and spend the rest of his life remembering you by.”  

There are adults, many of whom have departed this world for the glory of an eternity with Christ that I remember with great fondness and appreciation for the things they said to me as a child. I remember the silly things as well as the profound things they said and did. Many of them represented Christ to me. I do believe Fulgham was right:  “Every person passing through this life will unknowingly leave something and take something away. Most of this “something” cannot be seen or heard or numbered or scientifically detected or counted. It’s what we leave in the minds of other people and what they leave in ours.”  What would I like to be remembered for saying or doing by my children, my grandchildren, or those countless children I have encountered in my life’s journey? I’d like them to remember that this man spoke of the joy of the Lord and lived it, and  that he really, really loved each one of them. After all…“life is just a bowl of cherries, so live and laugh at it all.”Let’s pray!

Heavenly Father; Fill my heart with goodness and grace that springs forth from my lips with words of praise, thanksgiving, and encouragement to all those around me…especially to your beloved little ones, that they may also know of your goodness and run to you. This I pray in Jesus’ great Name. Amen!

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