Thursday, July 8, 2010
A quaint little cottage sits in the midst of a vast forest. The tall trees filter the sunlight creating green haze, making the edges of everything look fuzzy. A faint breeze rustles a few leaves and something scampers through the thin underbrush. The young girl who lives here has hung brightly colored floral curtains in the windows, and her face peeks out from between them. She’s waiting until the clock says 2:00pm – the time when the trees wake up. Usually, this is a good thing. But when they wake up in a bad mood, she knows it’s safer to hide.
This was a game where my imagination took me one summer when I had a big refrigerator box in the back yard with a door and windows cut into it. I was reminded of the world of imagination yesterday when I took the boys I nanny for to the movies. We saw “Imagine That” – which if you are not familiar with it, is a movie staring Eddie Murphy, whose job is in peril when he is introduced to his daughter’s world of imagination. Through connecting with his daughter in this imaginary world, his job is saved. Essentially, he is somewhat forced to look at life through the eyes of a child again, to have faith in something he cannot see, and ends up sounding a little crazy to those around him.
Sounds familiar, huh? As followers of Christ, we are called to become like children (Matthew 18:3), have faith in what we cannot physically see (Hebrews 11:1), and sound a little crazy to the world (1 Corinthians 1:18). But what does this mean? Are we supposed to throw caution to the wind and run around like the little wild-child next door (that we are secretly glad isn’t our responsibility)?
In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul states that when he was a child, he acted and reasoned like a child, but now that he is a man he put childish ways behind him (13:11). We should strive towards maturity in faith to attain the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13). But at the same time, we should also strive towards faith like a child. It is a bit like an oxymoron – mature and childlike faith. But they do fit together. Experiences in life cause us to deepen our faith in God and his hand over us. At the same time, he calls us to follow him without knowing all of the details. This is tough for our adult, analytical, and (ahem) “mature” minds. We want to have the facts: How will this work out? How will this affect me? Will there be pain? Is there an easier way? But when we know all the facts, it takes the mystery and adventure out of the journey. And when we know exactly how things will end, it removes the element of trust that God has everything under control.
The movie reminded me that as adults we sometimes speed through life and forget to enjoy the wonder of the world around us – a world that the Creator made for us to live in and enjoy. I want to be able to look at things with awe and wonder, things that will cause me to pause and say “Wow, Abba – that is so cool!” I also was reminded that I need to just sit back, relax, and enjoy this life of following Christ.