ONE of many curious things that Jesus tells us is that we are to receive the Kingdom of God as a child.

One of the greatest gifts that children have is the curiosity to stop and to peer at a slug, or marvel at the way a weed grows in the middle of some concrete. Sometimes grown-ups want to do that, but usually sensible grown-upness triumphs.

So instead we rush onto the next moment, longing to turn the next page, while the small child can be content to dwell in the present and savour its every possibility.

One of the ways that we can become more childlike is by relishing the creation around us, its kaleidoscopic variety and intricacy, and, if you wish, seeking God’s presence in it.

But for most of us, life is rather different from this. We worry, rake over the past or fret about the future. Joy is something we hope for, something to purchase, an occasional treat, an award waiting for us in the future, something we need to earn or achieve.

Another curious thing Jesus said is "Consider the lilies of the field". The phrase means the ordinary everyday flowers around us. Consider them, the insignificant flowers, the daisies we don’t usually notice.

It would be wonderful to see God in every person, everything and every moment, and to delight in that. To do this fully would be to dwell in heaven, but occasionally doing nothing, just watching the birds, considering the daisies, is to know a little bit of heaven on earth.

John Dixon, Vicar of Hawkshead, Sawrey, Rusland and Satterthwaite