Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Church as Resident Six Year Old

At my creativity blog, I wrote this post about living like a 6 year old.  What would it look like to have a life that was more like the life a 6 year old would live?

I don't want to underestimate the ways that life would be more terrifying:  the lack of ability to control so much of what happens to one, the being so much smaller, the lack of understanding of the world.

And yet, in so many ways, if we think we're living a life where we're that much more in control of the world as adults, where we think we understand the world so much better--well, I suspect we're fooling ourselves.

No, what I'd like is to recapture a child's sense of wonder, to put it in a banal, much overused way.  My nephew loves to go to the beach, and I often forget how lovely it is to sit on the sand and dig a trench.  Through the years, my nephew has delighted in all sorts of trash and castaway objects that he finds at the beach.

I envy my nephew's ability to ignore chores and what the world might tell him he should focus upon--or does the world work this way for 6 year olds?  Do they feel a sense of a to-do list the way that so many adults do?

My nephew is interested in having a fun game of cards or chasing each other around the yard or watching a ball game together or putting up a tent in the living room or heading to the beach to build sand castles.  In his mind, why shouldn't we do this?

In the grown up mind, there are so many reasons:  we have chores that must be done, we have to go to work, we worry about the mess, we have been approaching our lives in one way for such a long time that we forget there is another way.

In an ideal world, church would operate the way that having a 6 year old in the house operates.  It would remind us of the wonder of the world.  It would show us how to appreciate those wonders.  It would lure us away from daily drudgery so that we could remember how to have fun. 

I know that for many of us church has become one more drudgery.  But it's important to realize that church shouldn't be that way.  Church should remind us that we have so many ways to live a good life and such a short time to live that life.  Church should remind us that our Creator wants so much more for us, and calls us to a greater fulfillment.

And church should send us all out into the world equipped to live a better life and to help others find their ways to that fulfillment too.

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