“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven…” (Jesus)
Matthew 18:3 (NIV)
The moment matters. What does it feel like to be lost in time? I remember as a kid those moments when time seemed to stand still. No wind, sound, or light could move it any faster. Cruising on a bicycle through suburban streets, into open fields, and enjoying apricot fruit freshly picked from nearby orchards captivated countless days. The wash that divided our housing tract growing up smelled awful, which made it all the more fun to explore. There were no cell phones tracking us with GPS. And, we could stay out until the street lamps began the process of warming up.
In the San Jose Bay Area, the summer evening time may lower 20 degrees as the sun rests. This did not deter us. Even if you noticed each other shivering, the joy and adventure of these summer days distracted us from thinking of our own comfort. The skinned knee or gravel stuck still in the palm of the hand from a fall were mere annoyances. Play meant you were in it, completely.
Such commitment is refreshing to recall. In life, as we lose our innocence with our choices and by exposure to the cruelties of our world. It is this kind of commitment we deeply long to recapture. Nothing has to be imagined anymore. With computer graphics, anything on film is possible, and the virtual world of video gaming and cyber sex sells us a life we can click to and fro with little effort.
Atrophy comes from apathy. The muscle of being in wonder shrivels because we practice not caring for others and neglect the child-forged dream in each of us. Children teach us that being in wonder is normal. They practice it all the time. And, we frown on them when they do not use their “inside voices” as they explain their passion for everything from baseball to Star Wars. “That’s nice, son.” We almost resent the enthusiasm.
Is there a way to be as committed as a child? I count on this. Jesus, obviously values how kids show commitment. We view our faith as a chore, like swallowing terrible cold medicine. It will make is better, but we don’t have to like it. The kind of wonder that is lost in moment does not notice the skinned knee or cold evening. There is so much in the moment. We sour because we know life is hard and if we have a good day, a day is coming soon that will surely spank us. So, why be so excited about today?
The childish feeling of riding my bike till dusk in the summer might be the most godly feeling I have ever experienced. Serving God surely should be like that. My worship of God should be like that. Being married, being a dad, and being a human should be like this. Daylight Savings Time, time clocks, and our over-scheduled world requires schooling by the joy of a child. Can I just be with God in this moment? The moment matters.