The three wise men showed their wisdom by treasuring a child
As I reflect on all that the Christmas season means to me, several things come to mind: getting a special gift for someone, giving to those who don’t expect to receive, gathering with friends and family, keeping the spirit of Santa alive for children, and above all, the Christmas story. So, I put down my pen and sat down with my kids to read the Christmas story from beginning to end. After story time, the one question that my children posed that I could not answer was: “What made the wise men wise?” I was stumped – certainly not for the first time – so I said, “Let’s figure it out.” After long thought and some great insights from a 4- and 6-year-old, these are the lessons I took from the wise men: The wise men were wise because they stopped their lives to take a moment to treasure, truly treasure, a child. They stood in awe of the pure innocence of what the child brought to the experience. Additionally, they sought out the best way to gift the child. Children spell the biggest gift you can give them with four letters – T-I-M-E. The wise men spent time noticing the miracle that this child brought to their life. The wise men also gave respect to the child without wanting anything in return. When we approach our children with respect for the miracles they are, we give them a lasting gift. In the end, what the wise men seemed to understand is that it wasn’t about the gifts they brought to the child, it was about appreciating the beauty of the gift that the child gave to them. From this, I am reminded that Christmas is not just a time or a season, but a state of mind – a state of mind that cherishes peace in our homes and in our world by just stopping to admire the simplistic beauty of it. We can discover the Christmas state of mind if we pass through a gate … a little gate, child-high, child-wide. And the password: “Peace on earth and goodwill toward men (and children).” May you pause this Christmas to treasure the peace of a child – any child – and know that the gifts we are given are not always wrapped in a bow, but are often delivered in those moments we choose to stop and treasure the miracle of a child. Kerri Cheney is a youth and family specialist for YouthZone.
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