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03 March 2009

Found in a Trunk

Yesterday I was cleaning a closet in the house and came across a black storage chest. I lifted the lid to find a wealth of things that are valuable only to me (possibly my parents and my brother, too): the red Snoopy banner I received for Christmas so long ago (and posted about in October of 2007), a chess program for my old Timex Sinclair 1000 -- on cassette tape, some photos, old Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars, and sketch pads where I'd doodled potential band names in my later teen years (such awesome names as "Mad Dog," " ").

When I pulled this '57 Chevy out early on in the process, my mind went into "happy memory" mode. It was one of my favorite cars. My friend two houses down and I used to play with cars for hours and hours each day. It's not in good condition because we'd grind our cars into the dirt, throw them through the air as if taking it off sweet jumps, etc.

I reflected that, as an adult, if I saw a kid treating a toy this way, I'm likely to say something like, "Be more careful with that. You'll get it dirty/bend the axle/whatever." But I realized yesterday that the reason my mind went into "happy memory" mode was that I played with those toys like crazy, and I loved them and that's the very reason I played with them in the dirt, threw them in the air, and those sorts of things.
I can't help thinking that these sorts of childlike traits are the ones Jesus was thinking about here:

"Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 17 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” (Luke 18:16-17, NLT)

How would a child do things concerning the Kingdom of God differently from the way an adult might? By taking on tasks he loves with abandon, by not caring if something is dangerous or might get him (or his toy) dirty, by listening to the Word and doing it without church politics even entering his mind, by being blissfully ignorant of the fact that other people aren't doing it the same way he's doing it. And on and on.

My defense mechanisms as an adult have grown to mammoth proportions, I'm afraid. I don't want to do things that will offend people or that might hurt me. Pushing against these learned behaviors is something I'm working at on a daily basis.


Leroy said...

Sweet jumps, huh? :)

From Max Lucado's Life Lessons on Galatians:

“Trying to get right with God by keeping a bunch of religious rules is a formula for frustration and failure. First problem, whose rules? Such requirements vary from religion to religion, person to person, and generation to generation. What if you’re working from the wrong list? Second problem, how do we define what it means to “keep” those rules? Do we have to follow them perfectly? Or are we allowed a reasonable number of mistakes and missteps? And what is considered “reasonable”? The gospel of Christ eliminates all this confusion by stating categorically that no one but Christ is good enough. Only through faith in Him, only by relying on His efforts on our behalf, do we qualify for heaven.” – Max Lucado

Sounds pretty simple and "child-like" to me. :)

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