“Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 15 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”
Mark 10:14-15 (NLT)
I am discovering that the older I become, the more necessary it is for me to remember what it was like to be a child. What does it mean, then, to be childlike, even as an adult? Now that is an excellent question.
Some would say that children are naive and silly and perhaps even too trusting. I would agree. However, I must admit that these are things that my heart desires very much to experience once more. I’m tired of overthinking. I’m exhausted with fear. I feel like I’m having to walk on my tip-toes around every decision in my life because I’m paralyzed with the pressure of needing everything to go as it should. I need everything I say to be right. I need every process I go through to be healthy and free of pain. I spend days dwelling on one decision and going through every possible outcome paired with every suitable solution. That’s wisdom, right? Wrong. Oh, what a horrible snare to be caught in.
As an adult, I’ve been noticing that I have been conditioned by fear. I won’t make a decision unless I know beyond a reasonable doubt that I would succeed, or that it’s the right thing to do. I have been crippled by fear, all the while thinking it was wisdom. I would think and think and think until my thinker broke. I would stress and stress and stress until I finally admit that I’m overwhelmed. I would hide in the comfort of my emotions that worshiped my pain. I never remember childhood being so complicated.
Lord, I long to be naive again. I’m ready to relearn what it looks like to be silly. To make mistakes and learn from them rather than expecting perfection from myself. I want to be like a child again. To get my hands dirty and know that I can just wash them later. To not care what the adults think. To break a bone playing outside and know that my Mom will take care of me. To trust. To assume the best. To truly believe that nothing is impossible. To know that if I can’t do something myself, I have a Dad who can do ANYTHING. To never doubt that I’m loved. I’m worth it. I’m ready to be creative again. I’m ready to dream again. I’m ready to use my imagination. To think with my heart more than my head.
Children have the right idea. They are dependent on their Dad. They don’t know how to worry yet. They don’t know how to be embarrassed. They know how to ask for things. Jesus, thank you for opening my eyes. I had lost my focus. Let me look back into your eyes instead of down at my feet. Let me get lost in the wilderness and see it as an opportunity for adventure rather than an invitation for anxiety. Your love motivates me, not my fear. It’s all about you, Jesus. It always has been. It always will be. You are love. And I love you. If that’s the only thought that I have in my mind for the rest of my life then I will be all set. My Father is Love. And I’m like my Father.