One of my favorite jobs was a work-study program in college. I worked at a local elementary school as a teacher’s aide, tutor, lunch-room monitor, and basically whatever else the teachers needed me to do. I love working with kids because everything seems way less complicated. Kids generally know what they think and just say it.
Every so often, there would be an assembly where someone would come in and perform some kind of act or speech for the kids. One time it was these two guys who were jugglers and box stackers. It was actually kind of fun watching the box juggling, stacking thing. It basically looks like the boxes are magnetic by the way the are manipulating them but they aren’t.
Of course the kids loved it. They were amazed. The two jugglers told a story and sang during the performance. It was all about how amazing humans are. How so long ago, a cosmic explosion made all the stars and planets and everything. How not as long ago, a star blew up and this stardust, over bazillions of years, became the earth and the animals and finally people.
How cool is that! You are made out of stardust! That’s something that makes you awesome.
This is what the kids were taught. That they are dust. Stardust at least, but still dust. This doesn’t inspire dignity and creativity in a human. “Hey kid, you’re dust. From a star. Isn’t that cool!?” That’s not something I wanted these children to think. I want them to know the truth. To praise God for creating not just the stars, but also humanity in majesty with eternal dignity like David does in the 8th Psalm.
Once the blasphemous entertainment ended, I was mentally scrambling as to what I could do to try to show some truth to these kids. I asked one of the little girls who was walking with me: “Do you think you are made out of stardust?” She looked at me with the beautiful smile God gave her and said, “Nope! I just like the singing!” And skipped away giggling and pretending to juggle.
This little 1st grader could see straight through the stupidity of what the guys were trying to teach. She simply knew that she was something more than mere dust. I think this is the kind of thing that Jesus talks about when He tells us to be more like children. Stop overcomplicating and overthinking things. Just know that you are more.