Saturday, January 29, 2011

The One With the Soldiers in the Woods

This afternoon my wife and I ventured out to a local park so she could get a chance to take some pictures of me and various wildlife. You could hear the sounds of kids playing and having a good time, but I couldn't quite tell where they were coming from. Just as we were approaching the woods a group of kids came running out of the woods and ran by us. My first thought was that they were playing some sort of game...or...they knew something we didn't and we should be running too. Then we saw what they were running from...two kids about their same age...but one was wearing a paintball mask...and they both were armed with...nerf guns...

It made me laugh because it feels like just the other day that was my friends and I. We played flashlight tag and nerf wars during the summer months. We would see headlights coming in the distance and think someone had called the cops on us and we would run for cover behind a tree, fence or whatever we could find. It is an innocence that we all seemed to once have that allowed us to imagine that the woods we played in was really a jungle. It was this same innocence that allowed us to imagine the small hill with bumps that we would sled down was a huge mountain of snow and we were winning the gold medal in the X-games.

We somehow have allowed this innocence to be destroyed by reality. The reality that we have a car payment to make. A rent check to write. A mountain of student loan debt. All come crashing down. We don't make the team or we don't get a promotion and the reality that we are reminded why we gave up our dreams of being an astronaut, gold medalist, or professional musician.

There's something about this innocence though that is essential to our every day lives. Before we lost this innocence we didn't see our friends or their families as being rich...they were just...there. We didn't understand that we were poor. We didn't have any worries except making sure we got the toy out of the box of cereal before our sibling(s).

Even Jesus tells us that this innocence is essential for us to have. It is this innocence that is able to accept that someone could love us so much that they would die for us. That no matter what we do that He will always want to play with us. That He is willing to share even His best toys with us. That He won't get mad at us when we accidentally break the toy. That in the end...He wants to hear from us.

Mark 10:15
15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom
of God like a little child will never enter it.”

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