Responsibility. Respectability. Maturity. Dignity.
These are all good things.
These are all expected things.
These are all adult things.
From the moment of birth, those of us of a certain age – rightfully – were taught not only to make our way in the world, but also to accept responsibility. To claim the mantle of adulthood.
To, as it were, grow up quickly.
As I say, these are all good things. And we are, without doubt, grateful for the lessons so taught.
But . . .
There were unanticipated costs, weren’t there?
There always are.
Financial pressures, health issues, relationship set backs, job stresses, all cause us to try and seek relief in mind-numbing, soul-crushing addictions. From alcohol, meds (prescribed or illegal), and relentless, debased social media forays and political debates, to anxiety, anger, and despondency.
All seemingly without end.
And, sometimes, all of them mixed together in some lethal combination.
We know that we’ve lost ourselves somewhere along the way.
And that we’ve lost any sense of childhood wonder.
When was the last time you took the time to read a fairy tale?
No, not to your kids or grand kids. But to yourself.
I haven’t. Not for years.
When did you last get lost in a dazzling sunset? Or just sat and watched in amazement at the ocean’s awesome, overwhelming power? Or even thought about the stunning miracle that is life?
Well, it’s time.
It’s time to grow up and . . . become a child.
Not Peter Pan.
But a child.
C.S. Lewis reminds us:
Critics who treat “adult” as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves.
To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish;
These things are the marks of childhood and adolescence.
And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms.
Young things ought to want to grow.
But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development.
When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so.
Now that I am fifty I read them openly.
When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.
Take ten minutes today to become like a child.
It’s the only way that we’ll ever really grow up.
And the only way that we will ever secure His promise to us.
Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven – Matthew 18: 3
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