Never Never Forget
I don't know where it came from—ask my family, and they won't know either—but growing up has always been a terrifying concept to me. Trading in childhood's imagination and freedom and wonder for responsibility, stress, and decision-making seems like a lousy deal. Peter Pan would agree. But that's what makes visiting with my little nieces and nephew so incredible: all of that wonder and freedom and imagination is right there in front of me, sparkly-new and beautiful as ever.
It puts things in perspective. Grown-up life has its benefits (if anyone can think of any, feel free to let me know), but it also comes with struggles. With so many tasks on our plates, so many responsibilities and purposes and goals, we heap stress and exhaustion into our lives along with productivity. Working hard, making decisions, and maturing in Christ are all crucial, but there are some things we leave in childhood that we should never forget. Things that we can rediscover in the eyes of a child.
For one thing, faith. When my niece fell and scraped her hand yesterday, one of her first responses was to ask her mom to pray for her. How often do we, as born-again Christians, forget to seek God's face first and foremost in our trials?
Another precious gift is the child's ability to forget. Even when bad things happen, even when they're disappointed or hurt or scared, kids don't allow the negative to bog them down the way we do. We carry our trials with us long after they're over, cart them around like baggage that grows heavier by the day. If we could learn to forget that hurtful comment, or praise God for that struggle instead of dragging it with us in anger or pain, we could live freer lives.
Which brings me to the next childhood gift: wonder. When I go for walks, I often get frustrated when I catch myself watching my feet the entire way. There is beautiful scenery to take in, but instead I'm so stuck in my own head that I barely even register God's Creation around me. What happened to my wonder? The days when I wasn't watching where I was going because I was too busy devouring all the sights around me, building worlds inside them, being inspired by God's Creation in ways that only I could understand?
Happily, writing fantasy allows me to keep my inner child alive in ways I love, love, love, but there are things that even I, a Lost Girl at heart, need to relearn from days gone by. Spending this week with my nieces and nephews, I'm going to be taking notes. After all, growing up isn't trading out our childhood faith . . . it's building a life that is founded on Christ with that childhood faith still sparkling at its heart.
Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. ~Luke 18:16
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