The team of 9-year old baseball players huddled around the coach with playoffs just around the corner. As the kids cheerfully plucked grass and trumpeted the defeat of their fathers in backyard baseball the weekend prior, the coach was eager to set the tone for the playoffs by stating, “every coach in the league wants to win the championship.”

Recently, I’ve been challenged to step back and ponder the motivation that drives me…us. While winning a championship is an accomplishment, is that really what we’re called to? Is excellence and superiority the chief aim of life in Christ? As I read these words of Jesus, it is striking that Jesus turned the attention of his disciples to the lowest members of their society: children. But why children?

When I observe my children, I see that they are inclusive, joyful, peaceful, kind and generous toward the people around them while I often catch myself wondering how the people around me can help me reach my goals. I can become so consumed with being right, being the strongest, being the best - being a champion… that I lose touch with the heart of Jesus.

As I think about this life that Christ freely gives, I wonder if it looks less like becoming a champion and more like inviting others to sit at the feet of Jesus while plucking grass, playing backyard baseball and laughing uncontrollably.

Heavenly Father, thank you for children. While we lead and guide them, may we also learn the merits of plucking grass while fully delighting in your presence and the presence of those around us.

Throughout the Day: Think about a goal that you have or a hobby you enjoy. How could that goal or hobby be altered to include and encourage a child in your life?

Tags: community Matthew 18
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