“There is another way, one that grants the “devil his due” in all the tragedy of life, but that also keeps hope alive that the haunting of the Romance is no illusion, either. Children aren’t a bad place to look when we’re trying to get beyond the cynicism of adulthood…”
-John Eldredge & Brent Curtis (The Sacred Romance)
It recently dawned on me that what I see in my grandson’s eyes, is Life–life as it was meant to be before the cynicism we call “maturity” creeps in to kill the wonder. I loved every minute of my last visit with him, but especially when we were outside. He absolutely loved it and fussed a little every single time I brought him back inside. He loved running through the grass with one of us chasing him, or playing on the tree swing. We went out in the rain once and he held his hand out like I was doing to feel the drops; everything was an adventure.
What I enjoyed most was kneeling beside him in the driveway as he studied the rocks; he would move a few around with his finger then pick one up, and then another. They were the most interesting thing in the world to him in that moment. Each time we finished he took off with a rock in each hand and did not let them go. They may as well have been gold. I then realized that almost everything through his young eyes is still new and interesting, and for a minute they were for me too. I began to wonder when I lost my curiosity; when did I lose my childlike wonder? More importantly, how can I get it back?
I love the outdoors; when I’m hiking I get a taste of that wonder back. Creation is amazing, and our Father is abundant and generous. I believe there is room for both the weightiness of responsibility and life’s tragedies along with the spirit and wonder of childhood. I have to make room in my life to be a child. To be teachable and trusting–letting God father me in every way, and to be able see all the new things He wants to show me.
I get weary of so many of the messages about God that go out into the world. I quit going to church regularly several months ago, and all I really miss is the music. I went back a couple of weeks ago and it was basically a ‘turn to Christ or burn in hell’ sort of message. I don’t know who this kind of message is for but I don’t want my relationship with Our Father to be driven by a fear of hell. How could He want that? He doesn’t! To me, if the fruit of the message is fear, then it’s not representing the true heart of God. When He convicts me of something it is always done in a kind way–there is no fear, or shame heaped on top of whatever shortcoming he may want to address. Besides, in those times when life already feels like hell (when I need Him most), a fear of hell will not motivate me to turn to Him for refuge, but knowing His heart for me is good, will.
I know not all messages are like this and it’s not at all my intention to put down church. I also know that we have an enemy twisting our interpretation at every turn, but especially in places where Gods kids gather (Why would he bother attacking anybody else?). That’s why I believe it’s a good idea to ask God often to show me what is true of Him, what is true of me, and what is true of our relationship–not taking another’s word for it. When I listen with patience, He always answers.
“This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!”
Romans 8:15 (The Message)