The other day while driving I noticed a young boy waiting to cross a very busy intersection. This boy was young; probably no older than 6. School had let out and he was a good 1/4 of a mile away from the elementary school. There were no crossing guards this far away.
I thought to myself, I would never let my child cross this street alone. He’s too little to be doing this. Where are his parents?
Stopped at the stop light I felt anxious inside as I watched him press the cross walk button insessantly trying to make the light go faster. Not only was this boy young but he was small. Very easy for a driver to not see him, whether or not he had the right of way to walk.
All of my maternal instincts were in high alert watching this boy. Then the light turned.
Instead of bolting to run this little boy looked in all directions making sure there were no cars coming his way. He looked several times and then began to run across the crosswalk. The entire time he was looking about for an unsuspecting car. As he reached the other side he skipped along toward home.
He was ready.
I was impressed. Someone had fully prepared him for the journey and he was capable of handling it. I thought they must have rehearsed this so many times before they were confident he could manage on his own. My first inclination was to place blame on the parents for not being around for this little guy. He seemed so vulnerable. But he wasn’t. He was ready.
Maybe this boy’s parents or grandparents were not able to walk down to the school to walk with him? Maybe he didn’t have any siblings or older neighbors to accompany him? Maybe there was no other choice but for him to go by himself?
It dawned on me…
Even the smallest and most vulnerable of us can be ready to do big things.
To be ready is to be teachable.
I often feel too small to cross the preverbal cross walks in my life. I feel unequipped or incapable. I focus on how busy the road is forgetting that I’ve been given eyes to see, legs to run and a brain to discern information. The problem isn’t that I have to cross a busy road, it’s that I have to be teachable. I can still learn. I can still become ready to cross the road ahead where there are no crossing guards.
Life becomes stagnant when we stop learning.
Learning shrivels when we don’t want to cross busy streets anymore.
Right now I’m looking to cross a few busy roads. Lately I’ve been praying that I wake each day with a teachable attitude. Learning is uncomfortable for me sometimes. I have to put myself in the student’s chair and become humble before others. I have to face the things I don’t know or the things I can’t do. Learning requires getting outside myself. Growth always involves some kind of stretching. Stretching hurts. But like that little boy, I want to be ready and get set to go.
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. ~Matthew 8:2-4