Growing up is hard.
I no longer shriek with excitement when I receive snail mail, as I figure there is a 98% chance that it is a bill.
I can’t go home for all the Holidays because I would have to sell ALL my plasma and half my clothes on ebay to afford airfare.
OH and there’s that thing called work- which don’t get me wrong, I love where I work- but who loves getting up at 6:30 every morning?!
AND along with the additional responsibilities, friendships change and become harder to maintain, romantic relationships are often tough to figure out and the things that once consumed your mind are far, far away.
But on a less depressing note, I wish we built more pillow forts.
What I mean is, I wish we were more like children.
Not in the sense of ignoring responsibilities or running from things that scare us, but just in the true and earnest way they live.
You see, kids live because it’s just what they do.
They don’t build sandcastles, pillow forts and princess towers because they are afraid of wasting their life; they build them because well – why not?
They believe in Santa Claus with such an intense trust that it almost fools me into looking into the sky every now and again on Christmas Eve.
Someone hurts them? They cry, react out of their pain, pick themselves up and go right back to being playmates as though nothing had ever happened.
The imagination of a child is incredible. It’s like a secret vortex they tap into where they can live in this world that makes every little detail of this world interesting and fun!
It’s like Narnia.
Do you remember being a child?
You didn’t worry a lot, did you?
No way, you were way too busy living! There was simply too much fun to be had and too many exciting things to conquer that worrying was just simply never on the agenda.
It wasn’t that you didn’t have time to schedule “worrying”, it’s just you were too busy living that there wasn’t enough time for that.
I know, you’re thinking, “But Cleere….seriously? They are KIDS. They don’t have to pay bills, deal with reality or even feed themselves for that matter.”
And you’re right.
The responsibilities of a child are few, which often makes the opportunities feel endless.
But, as I have been reflecting on my own life lately, God has reminded me of a really precious truth:
I am a child.
I am HIS child.
Which means my imagination is crazy cool because it far exceeds the domains of this universe- I was literally designed to dream far beyond this!
And not just dream, but believe.
I can hope in miracles, not because I am naieve of reality, but because I am aware of who my God is.
I can have FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!
Why do we always have to take life so seriously?!?!?!
Yes, it is important to not waste our time, but I am pretty sure that focusing on “not wasting time” and taking each moment so seriously is a good way to not embrace each day.
As I got to thinking about this more and more, I realized something:
We start out as children.
Then we go through our dumb, “I am self-sufficient”, highschool and college phase.
And then we become adults.
And this is when we have our own children or we are around our friend’s children or our nieces and nephews if not our own.
And then comes that time when we grow the silk gray hairs, we bake amazing cakes and we are grandparents, in which we experience the presence of our grandchildren.
You see, throughout this life, we go through the natural human aging process, and we are constantly reminded of the innocence, trust, bravery, belief and imagination of a child.
It invites a joy that is contagious because it somehow transcends all the circumstances going on around it.
I don’t think that is ANY mistake at all!
The truth of the matter is, life is painful.
It is tough.
It often feels like a treacherous hike, with a backpack full of unpaid bills, not enough water in our canteen and too many more miles left to go.
But that’s when we need to stop climbing and reel ourselves back in.
If we were just meant to survive this life, with just enough to get by, then that would be one thing.
But friends- we were meant to plain out LIVE!!
I don’t know about you, but I prefer to climb the mountain with my hiking shoes on the wrong feet, seeing through a glitter pair of binoculars, friends by my side (who may have the map upside down) and an unshakable belief that I can do it with Jesus’ help!
I pray we all live because we can and we should and because life is GREAT, not because we are so terribly afraid of wasting it.
You are a child of the most high God.
So remember the lessons you learned in the fort:
1.) Laugh. A lot.
2.) Never exclude anyone. We are all family.
3.) Forgive always. It allows for more pillow-gatherers & your fort is way more fun.
4.) Let your imagination run wild.
5.) Believe in miracles. They are happening all around you.
6.) Be brave, even if it hurts you sometimes.
7.) Life is tough but you weren’t made for this world anyway. Dust yourself off & go at it again.
8.) When others succeed, clap! Cheer! We are a TEAM!
9.) Love. Love hard & love always. Your heart was made to love without always needing to analyze who you love.
10.) Build forts often.
And I don’t know if you have taken a look in the sky recently but you know how you always thought those were clouds?
Jesus makes intense pillow forts. Prepare yourself, kids
“And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” -Matthew 18:3