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I wish to relate to you the wonderfulness of childhood innocence. The little person that seems to illustrate this to me most often in my ministry as a teacher is Blair.

Recently I was in the school office after hours, doing some paper work when I heard the most terrible racket – the desperate screaming of two little boys outside! I peaked out the window to see if they were being mauled by Hadedas (like an African version of the Hitchcock classic, “Birds”), only to find the two nine year-olds running in a large circle in the parking lot, being chased by each other. They were completely unaware of any audience, so focussed were they on their private crisis. The intense look of terror painted on their faces was mesmerizing and I watched to see what would happen if they actually caught each other. Gradually (after about ten laps) the boys’ screams morphed into squeels… mysteriously, there were two little piggies chasing each other around the parking-lot in ever shrinking circles. When their spiral arrived at its inevitable conclusion, the squeels changed into the dying gasps that only little boys can get quite right. Finally, Blair gasped out their tragic epitaph:

“Swine fluuuuuuu!”


A few weeks ago we held our inter-house athletics meeting. What I love about the event is the little conversations between the little people competing. Somewhere between the flood of hormones and the drudgery of homework, children lose their invincible optimism and become teens. It is the greatest tragedy of the growing process. Two examples will illustrate this:

Two little grade 1 boys were lined up at the third exchange of the 4 x 60m relay for boys under 7. The one was a natural athlete, who comes from a family of natural athletes. He had come first in the 60m and 80m races earlier that day, and his team were far ahead on the points table. The other little boys was just as genetically disposed to losing as the other was to winning. He was thin, with knock-knees and a silly grin on his face. As I walked by, both boys were adamantly proclaiming, with equal noise and conviction, that they would win the race by at least a minute. The previous losses of the day meant nothing to our knock-kneed little champion – in his own mind, he was a guarenteed winner.

Another boy, on the verge of adolescence, had always been one of those fat boys who run the last twenty of the 100m backwards, waving to the crowds, doing their bit to make up for the entertainment their athletic abilities could not give to the paying public. This last year however, he had lost a lot of that puppy fat. In spite of the encroaching teenage angst, encouraging him to jokingly proclaim himself guarenteed last place, I saw in his eyes, a faint glimmer of that childhood optimism. He knew something had changed. He ran that race – the 150m for boys under 12 – in record time, with teeth gritted and every muscle straining. At the finish line he feigned shock at his win, but his little smile gave him away – he always knew he was a winner.

Sometimes I think we should all revert somehow to that simple faith in the stuff God put into us. We should go into every battle, expecting to win, and never be phased by such trivial things as previous failure. Don’t you wish you could be like that?

About Me

Ecstatically married to Leane. Studying Theology and Teaching. Working as a worship leader, teacher, coach, guitar teacher. Living in the Mighty City of Mkondo in the sunny province of Mpumalanga, in the blessed country of South Africa.

Favourite Thoughts – Outbox

Religion is to be defended - not by putting to death - but by dying. Not by cruelty, but by patient endurance. - Lactantius (c.304-313).
What is essential Christianity? From first to last it is scandal, the divine scandal. Every time someone risks scandal of high order there is joy in heaven. - Soren Keirkegaard.
Where there are two Christians, there are three opinions... [Actually a Jewish saying, but at least as true for Christians]


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