In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all. (Isaiah 11:6)
Led by a child? The way Isaiah seems to have Jesus all figured out, hundreds of years before Bethlehem, confirms and strengthens my faith. This little passage looks forward to a golden “day” of unity and peace which we’re still waiting for — but maybe it’s our concept of leadership that’s keeping it far off. In so many ways, I think Jesus was “a little child” throughout his life. He has none of the brooding intensity and self-conscious stress of most leaders and most adults. Instead he is transparent, spontaneous and reactive like a kid. Jesus said, “unless you change and become like a little child, you will never enter the kingdom.” Jesus often made a bee-line for his parent’s lap when he was hurt or confused. And for me his most childlike quality was his gift for surprise — giving and receiving. Wasn’t Jesus’ cross and resurrection the ultimate ‘peek-a-boo.’ To be led by that “little child” means to do life as Jesus did it. Being 100% present. Being 100% aware. Being 100% willing to try completely new, tricky things (like walking and talking). Being 100% oriented toward God.
Lord, thank you for showing me how to have the best life possible. Forgive all my adult pride, pretense and tedium. I want to experience my life like a little child does theirs. I want to love you like a kid loves their parents and enjoy the people and world around me with freshness. Amen.