Life on Cottage Hill: PAGES

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

FAITH BEGINNINGS: "The great man is he who does not lose his childlike heart." - Mencius

Last weekend Dan, Jackson and I went book-shopping. We went a little overboard, as usual, but if there is any thing I am okay with giving Jackson too much of, it is books. So, give him books we did. While there we also picked up a few books to read in our quest to give Jackson the strongest foundation of faith possible. 

One of the books I began reading is Faith Like a Child by Johnny Parker. So far, so great!

The book is based around Matthew 18:3-4:
"I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven."

Johnny starts the book talking about the difference between being childish and childlike. The idea that being childish needs to stay in childhood- this immaturity comes along with just that, not yet being mature. But, being childlike is something that we should keep in our hearts, in how we live always. Being childlike means seeing life through the eyes of a child- seeing things with pure love, unconditional love... living as children live- "they trust, love and live without considering first what's in it for them." I love that. (Side note: this also begs the question of what catalyst spurs this way of living to stop- or at least to stop being so frequent. And when do these things happen? What is it in life that begins the slippery slop of adulthood as seen through the eyes of the bitter, serious, tired.)

I love how he goes on to point out how children know how to keep life simple. How they have this beautiful ability to find joy everywhere. It's so true! Just watch a child, watch how their faces light up over any and every thing, how they laugh without a guard up and giving hugs, kisses and affection fit so seamlessly into their every day life. I see this all the time with Jackson in my life- it is what makes being around children so incredible, so fun and care-free. It's because we too wish we could live this way. And the beauty is that we can, and as God points out, we should

It doesn't mean throwing responsibility and seriousness out the window- there is a time for both of those things as adults, but I would argue that "serious" business can be accomplished without serious faces 99% of the time. That we can be responsible and set the best of examples by being childlike. 

As it says in Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 "There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven... a time to weep and a time to laugh."

Did you know that the average 4 year old laughs more than 40 times a day? And that the average 40 year old laughs only 4 times a day? Does that depress any one else? Because I'm 26 and if being 40 means only laughing a few times a day then I'm not ready to buy into that future. 

"Laughter and play are the poles that add balance to our steps as we walk the tightrope of life." I wrote down that quote while reading and I just happened to come back across it today... I think the past few days I've been forgetting to laugh and play and be as childlike as much as I want to be. This happens sometimes when we allow the stresses of every day life to blur our focus. 

The book left this section by posing  a question of "what are you doing today to cultivate a spirit of laughter and play in your home?" What am I doing today and every day to bring Jackson up in a home that thrives off of childlike passion, love and energy? I would also add, what am I doing today and every day to bring childlike play and fun to my marriage? And what am I doing today and every day to bring this idea of pure, selfless passion to the office- how can I be the shining light of example for those around me?

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