There’s something about being childlike. Jesus said, “unless you change and become like a child, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)
What does that mean?
Papa always got a kick out of the fact that whilst working overseas in conflict zones, dodging bullets and stones (at times tanks & landmines), at night I clutched my teddy bear, Bumbles. He’s now quite old and decrepit. (Papa also said, “it’s not necessarily the years but the miles that age us.” Bumbles & I have wracked up both!)
Methinks being childlike is not just about clutching our teddy bears or massive stuffed hippos like Augie, gifted a few years ago by my sis, who reveled in squeals of delight from big-kid me. Augie, so named in honor of Saint Augustine of Hippo, also serves as a comfy backrest.
Here’s Augie with Freddie the Frog (click here to read how Freddie the Frog does Christmas.)
Being childlike? Not too far a stretch for hippo-loving, teddy-toting me. However, juggernaut me needs a reminder every now and then of what it truly means in our whacked out world with overwhelming challenges spiraling out of control.
Think of children, so trusting and open (ok, at times whiny and needy, but aren’t we all?) Consider a child’s sense of wonder and adventure.
As a groupie of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk, last night we watched an episode where he interviewed filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer in Residence, James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar), who made a record breaking dive in the Marianas Trench, the deepest point under the ocean located near the Philippines.
Here’s a snapshot of their preponderating dialogue:
James Cameron: “I’ve been asked that a lot. It occurs to me that a kid would never ask that question, because a kid would know, you just gotta go!”
Neil: “I want to be a kid again!”
James Cameron: “As a culture, we start to think like adults. A kid would say, why wouldn’t you go? It’s there. You haven’t looked yet. So, why wouldn’t you build a sub and get in it to go and look?”
As their conversation moved on to technical issues heavily interspersed with science & engineering bits, like why the sub-capsule had to be a sphere, my mind grappled with the kid-like motivation for this explorer who helped design & build a complicated something so he could go and have a look at the deepest part of the ocean. Keep in mind, if anything went wrong he could have become a pile of goo in minutes (or seconds – there was a bit of debate about that.)
‘Tis geeky of Virginia, writing out their dialogue, but here’s something else to consider.
“It takes a long time to become young.” Pablo Picasso
As we get older, sometimes we forget to ponder the vastness of wonder in our universe: whirling planets, twinkling stars, the depths of the sea, plants, flowers & beauteous trees that surround us. Maybe today we can put on childlike glasses that open our eyes & hearts to pondering the wonder around us – and within us.
God’s heavenly paintbrushes, busy at work with celestial love.
Maybe that new-thing nudging we’ve impossibled ourselves out of trying, or constantly replayed hurts paralyzing our minds from hope & healing – maybe we should go for childlike & be about it: opening our hearts a little wider to the spark of God’s love, the incarnate healing joy of the infant Jesus Who emanates light when all is darkness.
“’Unless you become like a child…’ I am sure you will understand beautifully everything if you would only ‘become’ a child in God’s hands. The personal love Christ has for you is infinite; the small difficulty you have regarding His church is finite.
Overcome the finite with the infinite.” Mother Teresa (Saint Teresa of Calcutta)
grace, peace & childlike preponderating
Virginia : )
p.s. Today is the feast day of Saint Nicolas, a special day for children all across Europe. Here’s a previous post you can click to read more… Saint Nicholas & Purposeful Fruitcake
p.s.2 For buddies who get Roses posts in your email, apologies for this re-post, but there were a few technical issues to resolve (but not building-a-submarine engineering ones!) 🙂