While watching an old rerun of Rafe Hollister Sings from The Andy Griffith Show, my 6-year old grandson wondered why Mayberry’s mayor and a leading citizen (Mrs. Jeffrie) didn’t want Mr. Hollister to represent their town at a musical event.
“Why don’t they want him to sing, Nonna (Grandma)?” he asked. “He sings good.”
“Yea,” added his 4-year old sister, “he sings better than that other guy (Deputy Barnie Fife)!” So I explained that they didn’t like the way he looked.
GRANDSON: “What’s wrong with him? He looks OK to me!”
ME: “Well, they don’t like the way he’s dressed.”
GRANDDAUGHTER: “He looks OK to me. He just looks like a farmer.”
GRANDSON: “And he could always change his clothes.”
ME: “Yes, he could, couldn’t he…”
But all the while I thought, no wonder Christ says we must become like little children to enter his kingdom.
And not like the mayor and Mrs. Jeffrie, or me sometimes! Because my thoughts were running along the same line as those of the snooty Mrs. Jeffrie and the mayor. “How could they have someone as unkempt as Rafe Hollister get up there to sing?”
Meanwhile Barney Fife, who had already cast himself as the winner, strutted off to the tryouts convinced he would take first place. Rafe Hollister on the other hand, had decided to enter only because Sheriff Andy Taylor convinced him to. “You think I’ve got a chance?” was his sincere and humble attitude.
Barney embarrassed himself with his out-of-tune singing. While humble misfit Rafe Hollister, with his truly gifted voice, won first place! Listen to Rafe’s singing and you’ll see why he won!
My grandchildren gave me an attitude adjustment that day. And helped me see why Christ says that if we want to enter his kingdom we must become like little children.
Jesus called a little child to himself, and set him in the middle of them, and said, “Most certainly I tell you, unless you turn, and become as little children, you will in no way enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever therefore humbles himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” — Matthew 18:2-4
Instead of judging by appearances kids often look beyond, to the heart of the person. And see with eyes of love and acceptance.
My prayer today is that the Lord would give me such a heart. And not like the snooty mayor and Mrs. Jeffries!
“Preconceived notions are locks on the door to wisdom.” — Mary Browne
“Be humble or you’ll stumble.” — D.L. Moody