There is a story that circulates the Internet from time to time about a little boy at a restaurant who tells God thank you for a meal and ends with saying something to the effect he’d be even more thankful if the meal included ice cream. The tale goes on to tell of the chiding comments of a woman nearby declaring that kids don’t even know how to pray. Ah, contraire! Jesus taught, "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3 NIV) What is it about this child’s prayer that is so appealing?
The first thing we see in the story is he is the one who asks his mom if he could be the one to ask the blessing. As the story goes he starts with a simple children’s grace then expands it by adding his own words. We could all learn a lesson from his simplicity: start with what we have been taught and then venture into where our thankful hearts lead us.
The child injects a bit of humor with his request for ice cream…or was that mention of ice cream humorous only to the adult listeners, the exceptions being the speaker and the quick-to-judge woman? I can envision a serious six-year-old simply saying what is in his heart when it comes to matters of dessert. I can also picture a sour-faced older woman deciding she knows what is wrong with kids today. Just maybe that child was talking to God as he would to his daddy…another lesson we could learn from his plaintive prayer. I know not everyone has had a good earthly daddy with whom to relate but if we could try to envision the relationship as God would have it to be between a daddy and a little child, I Peter 5:7 (Amplified Bible) would become much more meaningful to each adult reading this: “Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”
There’s more to the story about the boy at the restaurant and I hope each one of you has the opportunity to read and enjoy it but in the meantime remember this little guy believed God even cared about whether or not he liked ice cream! And you know what? God does! Please remember God is the Father, you are the child, and He cares to hear about anything you want to talk to Him about as well.
© Marilyn Sue Moore 11-15-08
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