Hi this is pastor Ken and these are my thoughts on a Thursday…The Countdown.

The older I get the more I find youth to be superior. Sure, there are some benefits to age, but the older you get, the harder it is to remember what they are. In all seriousness there are things about aging that seem on the surface to be advanced in comparison to youth. I do like that age has brought with it many life experiences. Getting older seems to mean that I have the ability to exercise more wisdom. I know without a doubt that many of the joys I experience today can only come with increased days…watching my children succeed as adults, having grandchildren and seeing them grow into young adults. Things like these would cause one to think that age has its advantages, make no mistake it does, but it has its downsides to be sure. I keep seeing my dad in my bathroom mirror in the morning, sometimes grandpa even peeks back out at me! My voice did get deeper when I was a younger man, but now it seems to rise and fall as if it has a mind of its own. Speaking of minds, mine doesn’t seem as sharp as it once did, complicated math requires pencil and paper where it was once unnecessary. I get less done in a day than I used to and yet end up doubly tired. George burns who lived to be 100 years old said on his 90th birthday that he had finally gotten so old that when he bent over to tie his shoes in the morning, he looked around to see what else he could do while he was down there.  Yes, age may have its upside, but the downside falls off rather quickly!

I wish we could use a countdown to measure age. Countdowns are exciting. I remember as a child watching the countdowns to rocket ships being launched to the moon. We gathered as a family around the television and watched with baited breath. As the time to launch got down to 10 seconds we would all say it together 10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1…BLASTOFF!! Through the years we have continued with an air of excitement and hope to ring in each New Year together counting down in unison as the ball drops in Times Square. Counting down is something we do as people whenever we are getting ready to experience something adventurous or amazing. I submit that if a countdown were unexpectedly begun over a public address system, people would immediately stop whatever they were doing and look around trying to take notice of whatever it was that was about to happen. Countdowns are awesome, and so I wish we counted down our age. At first glance one might not think it a good idea, but I think getting younger instead of older might be reason enough.

One way we can reduce the “age” we are is to “enter” the kingdom of Heaven. No, I’m not talking about going to Heaven, though I am very excited to do that someday. I am speaking of what Jesus spoke of in Mathew 18:3, Mark 10:14 and Luke 18:17, in each of these scriptures it is recorded that Jesus said that we must be like little children to enter the kingdom of Heaven. One might ask, “How can we enter the kingdom of heaven without going to heaven?” but Jesus made it a point to explain to his followers that The Kingdom of Heaven had come to them. We are able to enter the Kingdom not by going up to it…but because it has come down to us. Jesus was saying in each of the scriptures I referenced above that it takes childlike qualities to be citizens in His kingdom. In Mathew 18 Jesus said specifically that unless we become humble like a child, we cannot enter His kingdom. The latter two reference Jesus rebuking the His disciples for trying to keep the little children away from Him and in that instance, He said that it was people who were like little children populating God’s kingdom.

So, what are the childlike characteristics we need to take on if we are to be able to be citizens of the kingdom? As I said earlier, Jesus specifically mentioned humility. I think He did so because it is humility that allows so many of the things we see children do seemingly without reserve that age and life experience in this troubled world make very difficult for us adults. Children understand that there is much for them to learn and are often eager to do so…how about us? Children are responsive to their consciences and don’t resist the need to change as we often do. Children have a wonder and awe of life that the years so often seem to dull in us. Children are able to forgive with much greater ease than the years of life and hurt make us want to do. Children never stop asking questions of the people they trust, why do we?

If you have children and or grandchildren like I do, watch them for a while. It won’t take long for you to see some quality or characteristic that you could take on or improve to be a better citizen in the kingdom. In the Kingdom of Heaven we become more and more childlike the longer we live there. Its almost as if we get younger instead of older the longer we walk with our King and Lord Jesus. I want to become more childlike, how about you? Wanna race into it? C’mon lets do it…ready? 3…2…1…GO!

So now, as fast as your childlike legs will carry you, race into the Kingdom and Go be Awesome!