An Agave plant spends the vast majority of its life growing. Often called a ‘Century Plant’ because it can spend 80 years growing to before reaching its bloom. Imagine a giant asparagus growing 25 feet! Shortly after bloom, the stalk falls, and hundreds of genetically identical seeds fall to grow after it. The greatness of the agave isn’t just an entire life of growing. It’s also seeding life for others.
When it comes to children, growth is obvious. They get taller, lose teeth, become literate, develop a vocabulary, and seem to absorb everything (good & bad) from their surroundings. Kids also try new things with little fear of failure. And, trust seems to be the most natural thing in the world for a child. It’s no wonder when Jesus was asked who’s the greatest in the kingdom of heaven; Jesus puts a child in the midst of their conversation. Apparently, greatness isn’t about social status or even remarkable skill. Rather, a child is held up as an ideal of humility…because with humility comes a greater ability trust.
The ability to trust is a beautiful quality of a child. Like the agave whose life is mostly spent growing, Jesus upholds a child and signifies that the process of growing and trusting – not the results – is most significant. Childlike humility is not thinking lowly of oneself, but accurately. Humility "owns" who we are and learns to steward it. How can I trust God and use gifts for his glory? – That’s humility! That’s greatness!