Thursday, January 10, 2013
Maturing into Child-like Wonder
A few weeks ago, Gracie and I were having one of our spirited, silly arguments about who was the most excited about an upcoming adventure. She finally trumped me when she ended the conversation by saying something like, "Mom, you know everything looks and feels bigger and more exciting when you're a little kid." She won. I had no argument for that.
Immediately my mind filled with images of my childhood home. Today my adult mind will guess that it was likely no more than around 1400 square feet, but as a child, I recall that it felt ENORMOUS! It was a simple house. Kitchen, dining and living room all sorta lumped together into a big square, and then a hallway with 2 rooms on either side (bedrooms on the left, one bedroom and a bathroom on the right) and then Mom and Dad's room at the very end of the hall. Also there was a sliding door closet on the right. I doubt it was any more than about 16 feet long and 3 feet wide, but in my mind's eye, I can still see that hallway as vastly long and fraught with adventurous possibility. My sisters and I played every kind of game imaginable tracking back and forth through that hallway. Sometimes we played "mail" by hanging bags on each door knob and dropping notes into each other's bags every few minutes, setting up meetings and tea parties for later in the day. Sometimes we played Red Light, Green Light or Mother, May I?, running up and down for hours at a time. Many times we played hide and seek, during which the sliding door closet was a favorite spot to cozy up on a high shelf under some blankets. (I can't imagine how many times my Mom refolded linens.) Some of my favorite times were when my oldest sister would set up elaborate play days for us "littles," and each room would be a different adventure. One might have games and puzzles set up everywhere. Another might have crazy music and lights for a dance party. Sometimes there would be a "quiet room" for reading. Maybe a craft room or a Weeble village (anyone else remember those? MAN! We loved those things!) There were so many options. Which door shall we choose today? Adventure awaits!
I love those memories. And I'm sad that I'm suddenly aware that if I walked back into that house now, it would probably feel small to me. What a shame. But I guess that's just a reality of growing up and seeing from a different perspective.
I have some exciting news!!!
It seems to me the Gospel is exactly the OPPOSITE of that! Ohhhhhh. That makes me happy. As an immature believer, it was so easy for me to compartmentalize my faith. I could file away everything I knew about the Bible and God and Jesus (which admittedly was not much) and then pull it back out as needed. There was no adventure, no mystery, no fun about it. It was utilitarian at best. Just one small closet with a few drawers of information. BUT the older I get and more importantly, the more mature I become in my faith, the GRANDER and more EXCITING and more EXQUISITE all of this Gospel gorgeousness becomes to me. No hallway exists in this world that is long enough to hold the many doors it would take to tuck away rooms and rooms full of adventure and discovery and wonder. Narnia is just that plain ol' pre-Lucy, boxed in wardrobe compared to the glory of the Gospel. Oh, what fun to mature into child-like wonder again! The hallway keeps getting longer and longer. Which door shall I choose today? Or more accurately, which door will God swing open as I walk by? Adventure awaits! Let the journey begin!