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Become Like Children – A Reflection

Around the 6th or 7th grade I interviewed my grandmother about her life through the great depression. Being a child at the time, she mentioned barely noticing the change in conditions (before, during, and after). Although well aware (from the conversations by her parents and other signs) that life had changed for many. When I asked why she did not notice, she mentioned that her family lived as farmers. Living off the land allowed a certain distance from market and bank troubles. Certainly that is her account of her own experience. And yet I think there is more unmentioned truth. Could it be she had the childhood immunity to adult diseases of woe and worry?

Perhaps that should cause us to pay more attention to children. Observing my eight and four year old these past few week builds my hope of going back to "Neverland" (or in our case, Narnia) with them. At the dinner table Zion and Israel hear the Corona numbers, ask questions, and share opinions. Afterwards, they take their dishes out and rush to enjoy their cardboard box stores, random projects and imaginations, endless games, the reading of books, and just general carefree fun.

C.S. Lewis pointed out that when we are young we are willing to read fiction books and live in those imaginary worlds. As we grow into adults we become boring and dull and phase out such fantastical opportunities of enjoying each moment for its own sake. He went on to say that for some, they will mature past adulthood and once again enjoy each of life’s moments and begin again to ‘believe’ in such fantastic worlds where unicorns, fauns, centaurs, and talking Lions are the norm.

Times like these give us angles of reflection on our own lives. Questions about ‘how we are to live,’ are well worth their reflective energies. We have only 70 or 80 years on this planet. If you have not smelled the roses yet, how will you know their scent? Certainly, placing our goals, dreams, and more on hold is a bit disconcerting, even if the cause is a worthy one, but enjoy the journey anyway. I think it was a wise man who more than thrice said, ‘Eat, Drink, and Be Merry.’ I second the writer of Ecclesiastes.

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