I’ve always wondered why it was so important to God that we love Him like little children. Is heaven His Neverland Ranch? He said until we become like little children it will be difficult for us to enter heaven. But why? Why must being like a child be like some precondition to a successful relationship with God? Is it because children are so gullible that they’ll believe anything? Can we only succeed in our relationship with God if we’re shrouded in the characteristic naivety of a child? Is being like a child the only way we can scream in tongues without concluding that we are just making noise in the hope that we are speaking some mysterious language?
Is that why we think we’ve found religion when perhaps according to what some say, our Christianity is just our lazy humanistic way of explaining things we don’t understand about nature? For example we (including Elisha) didn’t get that lack of rainfall is due to things like deforestation and global warming, so we create an omnipotent God and attribute the lack of rain to his arbitrary will. Why don’t we grow up and make things happen for ourselves and get over this Christianity thing? Why don’t we realize that God is this big charade who is most efficient when we are like little kindergarten kids in relation to him? I pondered over this for a long time, and (pauses to laugh), you’ll be surprised where my answer came from.
Ravi Zacharias (my fave Apologist) tells a story of a four year old toddler who wasn’t getting along with his infant sister. Little Nick just couldn’t see why mom and dad had to go make Erica, so he was not in the mood to be friends. One day mom explained to him that he was going to have to start being a big brother to baby Erica because she’s going to look up to him her entire life. After pouting, with his hands folded most of the time in deep contemplation, he finally asked to go say goodnight to baby Erica in her room (by this point you know this aint Ghana; even 23 year olds are sharing rooms).
So anyways Nick goes to say goodnight to baby sis. Mummy is a little skeptical so she leaves the door open just a wee bit. When Nick was taking too long to come out, mummy snuck to the door to check if everything’s ok. What she heard stunned her. It stunned Ravi. It stunned me. It will stun you. Nick’s mum heard her son ask his baby sister;
“How is God like? I’m starting to forget.”
#gasps! How is God like? I’m starting to forget!
So when Picasso says “Every Child Is an Artist. The Problem Is How to Remain an Artist Once He or She Grows Up”, I get what he means.
You see there are some arguments that require PowerPoints and flip charts. Some require references to some ancient intellectual discourses, but the greatest argument requires something entirely shocking, and I’ll get to that in a giffy.
Someone was telling me the other day “See Ben, you’ve got to understand the plight of the pretty girlfriend; everyday some guy or frustrated married man hits on her. It’s either the audacious taxi driver or the tycoon with a compulsive urge to get under pretty skirts. So every day she says ‘no’ to someone. There are 365 days in the year Ben, is it possible to say ‘No’ 365 times? In a row? Cammon, cut the pretty girl some slack.” Yes, the pretty girl could use some slack, but the one with virtue doesn’t need it.
The plight of the Christian is much worse; the things that tempt us and force us to lower our standards and compromise just a little are sooooo mmaaannny! Everywhere you turn you’re bombarded with things that just make it seem okay to give in little by little till this whole Christianity thing becomes a Sunday thing then becomes a ritual-like thing, then becomes a formality, then becomes an impediment to ‘the good life’, because really, who can say ‘no’ that many times, even if it’s not in a row? That’s when being like a child becomes a life-saver.
You see, a child has the unique gift of trusting blindly. It doesn’t matter if the plane is up in flames, if daddy is piloting, this must be a camera trick. Children enjoy life better than adults; the tremor that will have mummy speaking tongues will get little Kobby giggling under the bed saying to daddy “Do it again!” God’s desire for us to be like children isn’t for his selfish intention, it’s for our eternal advantage.
We claw for reason “I must understand!” we insist “If it doesn’t make sense to me, it doesn’t deserve my faith.” That stance is dangerous because in the first place, understanding and wisdom are God-given. In fact the fear of the Lord – not the achievement of scholarship- is the beginning of wisdom. So how can you begin to understand when you have no reverence for He who grants understanding? How can you apply true wisdom when the giver of it is fiction to you? Every day, experiences add to the clutter of questions in our minds, questions that only the Spirit can answer. But we absolve ourselves of Him and still claim to be in search of answers. He is the map, so where are you going?
We are impressed by the findings of our research on Wikipedia and build persuasive memes to buttress our disbelief in God, but if you look closely, it takes more faith and work to believe there’s no God than it takes to be like a child in His arms.
You cannot intellectualize something that is spiritually discerned in the same way you cannot get enduring satisfaction by inhaling something that is meant to be eaten. If you live and trust God like a child and die to find out He doesn’t exist, will you have lost more than you will if you lived life like a ‘free thinker’ and died to find out that He lives? There is a certain level of inexplicable peace and assurance that’s only known to the Child of God. I’m not fluent enough to describe it but I’m so keen for you to experience it.
I have seen ‘free thinking’ men die and I have seen men who lived like children in God’s eyes die. If God turns out to be a sham, I’d still rather trust him like a child than wallow in the fatal liberation of ‘thinking freely’.
I know, this is a feeble attempt to describe something I’m still grappling with, but I still wrote it anyway, for two reasons; to encourage you if secular arguments are mysteriously beginning to make sense. You stand tallest when you kneel. The promise of the child of God is greater than the hope of the Professor of ‘Who’s God?’
I also wrote this in the hope that perhaps if you’ve been aloof about God or even averse to the fact that He is, this post will initiate the piercing power of the two-edged sword that’s able to cut through to where bone meets marrow and spirit meets soul. God is.
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