“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up”
I like trains. I like trains so much that instead of speeding up to get through the tracks as the flashing crossing lights came on my parents would slow down when I was in the car just to watch the train go by.
The rumble of the earth. The ear-shattering sound of the train horn. The amazing sheer power carrying the long line of train cars. Thomas the Train outfits, toys, and movies. I loved all of it.
Oh, I like dinosaurs too. When I was growing up I said I wanted to be an archeologist. One of my favorite movies was Jurassic Park. I got toys that were made out of sand in shape of an egg. They came with small tools where you had to chisel the rock to obtain the fossil. There is a photo around where I had safety glasses on, white button-down shirt on, and the tools in my hands carefully chiseling so I wouldn’t destroy the fossil.
I could name tons of dinosaurs. I read books on the different kinds.
You know what I do now at a railroad track when the crossing lights come on? I speed through. You know what happens when I get stuck waiting for a train to pass through? I get irritated.
And you know what? I cannot tell you the last time I talked about dinosaurs. I cannot remember the last time I watched one of my favorite movies.
I’m sure a lot of us are like this, especially adults. The things we once loved with a fire are dimmed or no longer lit. It’s sad when you actually sit down and think about it.
13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.
–Mark 10:13-16 NIV
Children can be bizarre. Have you ever had a conversation with a 5 year old and then out of the blue they say something sorta ridiculous? We as adults look at them and play along because we know all the answers. We know what they say is silly. But, have you ever notice how they talk? How they ask questions? How their minds work?
Children wonder and seek to learn. We know this because they are persistent in asking questions (ex. Where do babies come from?). We know this because there are times when hearing the answer you give them they follow up with the question: ‘Why’?
This is important in life and faith. As humans get older we tend to stop searching and only hear. We tend to stop asking questions and yell at Siri to figure things out the answers.
Unfortunately, this happens to our faith. When we first become Christ followers we are reading books, praying, going to studies, diving deep, asking questions. We have a fire burning in us and we can’t get enough of it. But, we hit walls and slowly plateau. We lose that childlike wonder.
This is important for everyone to hear. Millennials, especially teens and young adults, please hear this. Most adults will tell you they don’t have time or lost the passion for what they loved when they were younger.
I have. And I will be the first to admit that I lost my childlike wonder. I’m not talking about blind faith. I lost that childlike faith. The questions. Asking ‘Why?’. Digging deeper instead of being satisfied with going through the motions and speeding by. Instead of watching the train in all of it’s awesomeness I sped through the tracks not looking back. Instead of slowing down and seeking a deeper connection with a mighty God, I’m fine with the surface level relationship that is more taking than giving.
Millennials, don’t lose that wonder. You have the ability to change this cycle. Take advantage of the stories of older adults. I know there are others like me out there.
Listen. Hear their story. Then ask questions.
“There’s a huge difference between being childlike and being childish. When we embrace joy and look at the world with fresh eyes we’re being childlike. When we demand instant gratification and a guarantee that everything will be ok, we’re only being childish.”