I’ll never forget the day I took a pre-k class on a field trip to the science museum. A little boy in my class was always seeking, running, & climbing. I was constantly saying, “Jack, walk. Jack, sit. Jack, get down!” At one point on the trip, I couldn’t find Jack anywhere. He was missing. None of the parent volunteers, knew where he was. We were panicked!
I rounded the corner to the dinosaur display and YES there was Jack at the top of the Brachiosaurus – the tallest display in the entire museum. Jack had crawled under the ropes, shimmied up the spine of the long neck where he sat proudly on top of the dinosaur’s head! I looked at him with my meanest teacher face and said as sternly as I could, “Jack, you come down!”
As I read Luke 19:1-12 this morning, I realized, Zacchaeus probably would have been a troublemaker in my class. How do I know? He was desperately seeking Jesus. When he couldn’t find him, what did he do? He ran! Climbed a tree! What did Jesus say to him? Zacchaeus hurry and get down!
Wise parents & teachers know children solve their own problems & it usually involves lots of movement! Children run & climb. They move, wiggle, hit, talk, bite and giggle. This doesn’t bother Jesus! He knows! He made them that way!
What do we do?
Notice when kids are seeking. They may be seeking attention, love, praise, help, or comfort. So what do you do? Love them, help them, talk or listen, comfort, encourage, pray. Be Jesus for them! When you see a kid seeking, don’t get mad. Say to yourself, “They are seeking something & I’m going to help them get it the right way!”
Build relationships. Zacchaeus had a reason for running and climbing. Most kids do! There is a reason for disrupting a class, throwing a toy, biting a friend, crying, running, hiding, being sarcastic, yelling, hitting. Children are in need of something.
Enter the world of your little Zachs. Sit on the floor and play. Challenge them to a game of Checkers. Read a book together. As you enter their “house,” just like Jesus did Zacchaeus, ask questions & listen. Discover the need & meet it. Love them, help them, talk or listen, comfort, encourage, pray. Be Jesus for them!
If you haven’t had a Zach in your class or home yet, get ready! He or she is coming! But have no fear, Jesus had very special plans for Zacchaeus & he has the same for yours! Discover what Zach is seeking. Build a relationship. Be Jesus. You got this!