Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Childhood (09/03/09)
TITLE: Child at heart
By Kristian Tolle
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I don’t remember ever jumping in a pile of leaves, or swinging on a swing set with care-free abandon, or even playing with other kids my age. What I remember is changing diapers, learning to cook our family meals, and knowing how to run a household before I hit my teens. I found comfort in knowing that I could care for myself and a family. I may not have had much of a chance to be a child, but I knew how to be an adult.
Now, nearly twenty-eight years old and a mother of four, I spend my days changing diapers, cooking our family meals and running our household. This life of an adult holds no surprises for me… except for one. When I became a mother, I got to experience childhood for the very first time. Though adult responsibilities are still mine to shoulder, I get to experience life through the eyes of my children. In the last six years, I have explored dark caves built by blankets and chairs. I have discovered dinosaur bones in our very own back yard. I have examined bugs and blades of grass in intimate detail. I have jumped in leaves and rolled down hills, thrown snowballs and ran in the rain. I’ve swung high in the air as my kids cheered me on, and I’ve spun on a tire swing until I was dizzy. I’ve played make-believe and peek-a-boo, blown bubbles and chased them around the yard. I’ve laughed harder than I’ve ever laughed in my life.
And I’ve learned from my children what it means to have childlike faith.
Is it any wonder that Jesus instructed us to have faith like a child? Children see everything with unspoiled eyes and fresh vision. Every object, every moment is filled with wonder. They don’t need to understand why things are the way they are; they just appreciate the beauty and the awe of it all. How often do we, as adults, forget to just take in the beauty of this life we’ve been given and see it with innocent and trusting eyes? How often do we just revel in awe of our God, rather than questioning His plans? How often do we really think about what it means to have faith like a child? And who better to teach us than our own children?
I always thought it was my job to teach my children. While I believe that is still true, I’ve come to realize that I have plenty to learn from them as well. I pray that they’ll grow to be caring, responsible, independent adults one day. But mostly I pray that they’ll never forget the joy and innocence of their childhood or stop looking at the world through their little-kid eyes. Through raising my children, I’ve come to realize that perhaps the secret to happiness and sustaining unfailing faith is to simply remain a child at heart. And if that is the case, I hope I never grow up.
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