In a recent trip to Lafayette, Louisiana, during the holidays, Norma Jean and I enjoyed walking to a park close to Kenny and April’s house. Little Miles likes to be outdoors. Loves the park. And likes to go to a nearby “free library.”
The “library” is a little free standing house a block from the park. A lovely older couple built it and placed in their side yard next to the street. There are always some children’s books in it. And even a bench to sit down and read. So when you’re at the park Miles always says, “Go to the library?”
So, of course, we go to the library. On this day there was a sign the owner had placed in his yard by the library. As you can see from the picture, the message captured Miles’ attention. I think he wanted me to share it with you.
“Drive like your children live here” is such a clever way to make a serious point.
What the sign is really saying is don’t speed. Act responsibly. Drive safely. Be alert. Don’t take chances. Obey the law. Watch out for kids.
It was also an attention getting device by using kids to remind adults of proper behavior. I’m reminded that Jesus often employed children to make serious points to His audience.
On one occasion the disciple asked Jesus, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
In response, Jesus called a little child to stand in their midst. And then proclaimed, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Then Jesus added these sobering words, “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matt 18:1-6)
Indeed, “Jesus loves the little children.” He saw in them their pure hearts. Their innocence. Their joy. Their trust. Their warmth. Their humility. Their forgiveness. Their love.
Norma Jean and I are again learning the joy of little children through our grandsons, Miles and Roy. They can teach us so much, if we will listen and learn. And they call upon us to be our best. Do our best. Give our best.
On another occasion, people were bringing their children to Jesus just so he could touch them and offer a blessing. Thinking that their Master had more important things to do than bother with kids, the disciples rebuked the parents for wasting Jesus’ valuable time. Their interference “greatly displeased” Jesus and He in turn rebuked them.
“Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it” (Mk. 10:14-15).
The message, “Drive like your children live here” is a good one. It’s good to heed on the highway. And in a residential neighborhood where children live. And close to a park where children play. But it’s also a great message for life. For the way we act toward children. And interact with them.
Also the children serve as a wonderful example and reminder of how we, as adults, ought to conduct ourselves. This sign might have other similar messages.
“Live like your children live here.”
“Talk like your children live here.”
“Pray like your children live here.”
“Read like your children live here.”
“Act like your children live here.”
Thanks for reminder, Miles. You’re already teaching your Papaw.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman