Winter slumber. I can not possibly in simple words express the joy of this past week. A joy that grew with each melting, white layer to expose glints of green blades, tightly bound for months to the earth. I resolved to walk as much as I possibly could, with my face unashamedly stretched toward the peculiar blue sky. My face had little trouble finding familiar creases as I squinted at the beautiful, bright sphere. Though I know this glimpse of the "other side" may be brief, I am spurred on with anticipation of the glorious season of Spring! What a wonderful design.
Lately my thoughts have been almost as scattered and eclectic as the artwork you may find decorating the house where small children are its only artists. I suppose this is refreshing - a return to anything childlike is very often energy with new eyes. Yet, there is some wonder in Jesus' charge to be 'childlike.' To be childlike is to recapture the essence in the heart of a child and the mind of a child, while recognizing that I am no longer a child. Praise God for He has blessed me in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1)! I will always be a child of God, but I am also called to grow in faith through perseverance. As days are added to my life, so my understanding increases of the great and glorious riches in Christ. And yet, in this understanding, I am increasingly aware that with every new knowledge there are thousands more - never too few that I could exhaust the Lord's greatness in this life or the next.
So, why like a child should we come? In 1 Corinthians 14:20, Paul writes to the church regarding speaking in tongues, "Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults." Children do possess a beautiful innocence - an untarnished presence - maybe simply due to less time lived in a sinful world (sadly the age where this innocence is exposed has spiraled to reach for the dearest and youngest of souls).
I believe the Lord has called us to be like children because He desires for us simple obedience. He desires consuming joy that explodes on our insides and bursts out through our lives like the spontaneous laughter of a child dancing, absolutely unaware of anything else. He desires for us the ultimate exhilaration of being in awe of His presence. Only children can still manage those wide eyes, full of unquestioning belief and exuberant hope.
Like a child we should come, but thinking with the minds God has given. We are to be 'wise as serpents, but gentle as doves.' The Lord is faithful to give wisdom to those who seek Him, and so, as adults, we meditate on the mysteries of Christ and Him crucified.
I recently read an excerpt from Albert Schweitzer's Out of My Life and Thought, published in 1931. This man, with all his accomplishments in music, philosophy, theology, the world of academia, and ministry, decided at age 30 to return to school with the eventual goal of being a jungle doctor in the Congo. The excerpt described his struggles in explaining this seeming outrageous decision to friends and family, who questioned his sanity in leaving what many aspire to achieve.
He writes, "In the many adversarial debates I had to endure with people who passed for Christians, it amazed me to see them unable to perceive that the desire to serve the love preached by Jesus may sweep a man into a new course of life. They read in the New Testament that it can do so, and found it quite in order there."
Why, then, was it so absurd for Schweitzer to pursue wisdom through the courses of institutional education in order to give his life in service? He speaks to the necessity of those who are able to take this route to embark without hesitation. For not everyone has the opportunity or means to press into such a station. Those who can, must, so that the whole Church is working together to fulfill the Body's needs.
Maybe it is in circumstances like that of Schweitzer where it would be helpful to return to the inescapable, simple truths. Those outlined in the source of all divine inspired wisdom - the Word of God. Schweitzer wasn't in need of philosophies or theories of the day to decide the direction of his life. But, as a child would in full faith (and curiosity:) follow a mysterious light down a path, so too do our souls long to follow the light of Christ, however irrational or insensible it may seem to hardened, grown-up eyes.
Though I would indeed like to continue, I must stop because Saturday awaits... as does a theoretical application in social psychology, reading, and maybe most importantly a wonderful few hours I'll be spending celebrating community with friends over lunch.
love from holland.