Be like a child. Have wonder and expectation. Have dreams. Trust the King and live free. This is the call of Christianity, whether we remember it or not. This is what the kingdom of God is about, but we are usually too busy being grown up.
“And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:2-4 ESV)
I often wonder what has happened to our wonder – for those in Christ. We have clean and neat theology, our expression is appropriate for our context and few things moves us beyond our normative experience. We are meant to have mature thoughts (leaving childish things behind) and so we button up and end up looking stern and feeling even more so. But the adventure of following Christ is surely designed for more, childlike trust and wonder and running to Jesus!
Our family movie this week was The Little Prince, the Netflix version of a wonderful children’s book. It is a fun and surprisingly deep reflection on the seriousness with which we live and the success we strive for – often because that is what we think we are “supposed” to do. Without giving any spoilers, there is one phrase that struck me in the movie; “Growing up is not the problem, forgetting is.”
Ah, the truth. Forgetting the wonder of childhood, but for those in Christ, forgetting the glorious work of his cross and the humility we are freed to have before him, the childlike life of no burden and complete trust in the King that is kind and more than approachable.
I wonder still if we are poised for more childlike experience in Christ. To have the journey he has promised, with the prize being entry into the journey itself. That we are secure in him and set to dwell with him for eternity not in a merited subdivision of heaven but in the perfect created purpose of the new earth. Maybe we could laugh more. Maybe we could run to our King with more exuberance. Maybe we could wonder at the glory of Christ just for the magic of it all.
Let us turn and become like children. Let us remember what Christ has done and what he says about us. Let us dance for the fun of it!