Putting Away Childish Things versus Faith of a Child

Tom and I recently saw the movie “Solo” in St. George.  The movie was fun but not great.  But one of the trailers we saw the movie has stayed with me.  It is the movie “Christopher Robin” coming to theaters on August 3.  A live-action version of Winnie the Pooh with Christopher Robin as an adult.  Pooh and friends have to rescue Robin from his grown-up self.  The trailer reminded me of the movie “Hook” with Robin Williams as a grown-up Peter Pan.  Because I really liked “Hook,” I think I might enjoy “Christopher Robin” as well.

One of the difficult things about growing up is remembering to play and use our imaginations.  We think that growing up means “putting away childish things” (1 Corinthians 13:11).  We get cynical and sophisticated.  We use our brains instead of our emotions.  “When I became an adult, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”  Sometimes I think it is too bad that we have to grow up.

For me, retirement has offered a kind of second childhood.  I am learning all kinds of new things and exploring new places.  I am no longer responsible for lots of other people.  Tom and I go where we want, playing and having fun.  What we do is limited only by our imaginations (and my aging body).  Once again I am reminded that “adulting” is overrated.

This doesn’t mean that I am being childish.  When we think of being childish, we think of selfishness and immaturity.  Tom and I explore with a spirit of enthusiasm and joy – a child-like spirit.  Ready to embrace and enjoy each day.

I think this is what Jesus meant when he said we needed to “change and become like little children, or you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”  (Matthew 18:3).  Faith is a simple thing, but as adults we try to make it so complicated.  My faith is better than your faith.  Your religion is wrong.  You have to follow my rules or else you are going to hell.  Yuck!  Why do we get so judgey as adults?

Instead, Jesus asks us to become like little children in our faith.  To remember that we are weak and small and he is wonderful, awesome, and powerful.  To use imaginations, playful spirits, and acceptance to include more in the Kingdom of Heaven rather than guarding the gates so zealously.

One of God’s greatest gifts to me was giving me a husband who has never lost his child-like spirit.  Tom reminds me to play, to enjoy, and to appreciate.  Together we are cultivating child-like faith and enthusiasm for living.  Every day is a precious gift.  Don’t forget to play!