Friday, August 19, 2011

Returning to childhood

Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child,

will rank high in God's kingdom. Matthew 18:4 (The Message)

I don’t remember being a child. My life is the antithesis of a carefree youth, unconcerned with appearances or joyfully immersed in an activity. There is no heart-breaking trauma in my past; I am simply the culmination of my spirit’s response to circumstances and family legacies. The words of Jesus called me to receive Him as a child would, but I did not know how to do that. So, I set about observing and trying to recall the feelings of an uncalloused heart. Join in my mental journey so we can embrace the transforming power of child-like faith together.

Can you see a toddler reaching for mommy’s hand? The image reminds me to trust. Both path and destination pales in a child’s eye when the larger hand envelopes their own. I want to reach up to God like that and trust His guidance on this pathway of life.

The uninhibited delight of a child rolling down a hillside calls me to abandon myself to the joy of the moment. Children are not concerned about feeling dizzy or smudging clothes. I want to enjoy the special moments found in every day without trivial concerns clouding my heart.

A youngster swells with satisfaction as he rides a two-wheeler. In confidence, the child calls out greetings to all in his path. I want to be like that: inviting others into my joys with unabashed enthusiasm.

Even in pain, children teach us with their natural response: a cry for mommy. Loving arms ease every hurt. I want to be like that and cry out to Jesus when life hurts.

We are called children of God for a reason; dependence on Him produces the abundant life Jesus came to give us. We cannot manufacture purpose or eternal success. Like the life of a child that relies on the love and wisdom of the parent, we must live trusting in Abba, Father God. Where is God touching your heart? Where is He asking you to be childlike?

Father, help us release our worries to your care. Help us trust your power to guide us, your power to get our attention. Help us believe in your love and constant presence that we might feel like the beloved children we are. In Christ’s holy name, Amen

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