when i was a child

Dec.14-26-06 139 Do you remember what it was like to be a child on Christmas morning? Do you remember the excitement you felt when you came into the family room and saw all of the presents under the tree? What about the sheer joy of finally holding that new doll or fire truck?

Do you remember ever stopping to consider how much all this was costing? (The sound of screeching brakes seems to be appropriate here.) Do you remember thinking, “This is going to take Mom and Dad until April to pay off, just as long as the washing machine can limp along until then.”

Whether we like it or not, things change. There comes a point when we all realize that everything has a cost.

I’m not trying to be a kill joy. I still look for opportunities to be thrilled. I still want to experience those moments of wide-eyed wonderment that seem to become more and more elusive.

Does that mean I want to go back and be a child again? That depends on what you mean. If you are asking if I want to rid myself of the cynicism that tries to invade so many areas of adult life, then absolutely! I think that is what Jesus was talking about when he said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Mark 10:15)

However, if you are asking me if I want to abdicate the freedom that I have as an adult and the responsibility that goes along with it, then absolutely not! The joys of personal development, meaningful relationships, and creative productivity cannot be experienced without failure, conflict, and hard work. What that means is we must accept the responsibility for our own lives. That’s what being an adult is all about. We cannot legitimately exercise free will without accepting the responsibility of our choices. As the proverb goes, “You can’t have your cake and eat it to.” Being an adult means accepting the responsibility for our spiritual, emotional, social, and intellectual development which, impacts every part of our life: relationships, finances, productivity… everything. Paul reminds us of this responsibility when he said, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.” (1 Corinthians 13:11)


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