Advice From A 5-Year Old

Hello Hump Day readers. I thought we could use a little fun and instruction from a 5-year old. This story is from one of my fellow writers for Proverbs 31 Ministries. It kind of takes me back to Art Linklater and his conversations with youngsters. There are times we think we are so smart at our age—until a 5-year-old gives advice! So, here is Karen’s story—enjoy!

When talking about our agendas for the day, I told my 5-year old I was a little nervous about a meeting I have today. He said, “Mama, I am nervous all the time but I know what to do, so listen up, OK—then you’ll feel a lot better!” And here is all the advice he could fit into the drive to school that day:

  1. “You gotta say your affirmations in your mouth and your heart. You say, ‘I am brave’, ‘I am loved!’, ‘I smell good!’ And you can say five or three or ten until you know it. Honest mom, this works. My teacher tells us this almost every day, she’s smart.”
  2. “You gotta walk big and you gotta mean it. Like Dolly the dinosaur. Because you got it.”
  3. “Never put a skunk on a bus. If you do, everyone will stink.”
  4. “Think about donuts or even if you cry a little, you can think about potato chips!”
  5. “Mom, you just gotta take a deep breath and you gotta do it again. Our teacher says to count to 10—sometimes I have to count to 25, then I’m OK.”
  6. “Even if it’s a yucky day, you can get a hug!”
  7. “And mom, don’t get distracted cause you need your feet to stay on the sidewalk and not get full of snow.”

Karen ends this conversation with her son by saying “I thought I was teaching my son, but on this morning, he was teaching me!”

Oh, the preciousness of child-like faith! Let’s face it—all seven of this youngster’s ideas are pretty spot-on. At 5 one would think the word ‘affirmations’ was not in his vocabulary, but obviously his teacher taught that to her students. How about ‘you gotta’ – again, if we don’t trust what we’re going to do, we don’t have it and we stay in anxiety and fear. A thought about donuts or chips takes your mind elsewhere, smart move by this youngster. The skunk on the bus is funny and where it came from, Karen never did find out, but the idea is true: we can stink up other lives because we’re not happy. And who doesn’t have a yucky day now and then—but a hug can change it all. So often we can get ourselves “snowed in” with worries and anxiousness, and then we get distracted and lose our way.

In Scripture, we see Jesus’ care for children 3 times. Read each one and take it to heart.

*First was his “greatest in the kingdom of heaven” answer. (Matthew 18:1-5 NIV)  At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”

*Second, was Jesus’ protection for the little ones. (Matthew 18:6-7 NIV)  “If anyone causes one of these little ones-those who believe in me-to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!”

*Third, Jesus showed his love by raising a child from the dead. (Matthew 9:22-26 NIV)  When Jesus entered the synagogue leaders house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. News of this spread through all that region.

The power of a child’s mind can be creative, funny, practical, crazy, and yet filled with the goodness we all need. Think back to your childhood or your children—what tidbits of wisdom did they impart? What joy did they give right when you needed it? For us older-but-not-aways-wiser, we should remind ourselves that child-like faith and humility shouldn’t end when we’re young. Jesus reminded his disciples and his words are for us as well. Greatness is humility, caring and protecting is what God calls us to do, and most importantly, the belief that a child-like faith has no problem when Jesus raises us from the dead—Hallelujah—AMEN!