Monday, March 4, 2013

The Kids Are Right

British apologist G.K. Chesterton said something to the effect that the most important truths he ever learned were learned in the nursery and that his conversion from atheism to Christianity was simply a rediscovery of those childhood doctrines. I feel no shame in admitting that I can relate to Chesterton. It seems that all my study and ponderings have simply led me back to what I always assumed to be true as a child. It seems that, in many respects, children have a better understanding of reality than we do. Perhaps this is why our Lord put such value on children and child-likeness (Matthew 19:14, Matthew 18:3) while on earth. Here some examples of truths that all youngsters know to be true but that we seem to lose grasp of as we get older.

-The world in a magical place, more incredible than the wildest fairy tale. Bean stocks aren't magical because they lead you to giants and geese that lay golden eggs. They're magical because there's these things called bean stocks that start out as little round dots and though some strange wizardry they turn into living, growing green objects that actually produce life. Weird, right? The kid with a magnifying glass understands the miraculous nature of the universe better than most scientists with PhDs.

-When Daddy's around everything is going to be okay. This one is beginning to hit home for me because in a month I'll be getting married and leaving home. As I've begun to take on more responsibility, it's occurred to me that in twenty years of living under my dad's roof I never once worried about where my meals were coming from, where I'd get clothes and how my needs would be taken care of. Why? Because Dad had it covered. Most children, assuming their father was halfway decent, felt safe and secure in his presence. Lately, I've been impressed by the fact that as a child of the living God, I should feel equally safe before my Heavenly Father. The security felt by a child in his father's arms is a shadow of the reality that God's children are perfectly safe in His arms.

-Boys and girls are different and that's cool. Little boys and little girls are fascinated by the fact that boys and girls are different. They don't know how to describe it in any terms that adults would accept but it's known to all children. Unfortunately, this is stamped out pretty quick. These differences either become degraded as gross or trivialized as unimportant. And yet, the basic observation is true. Boys and girls are different and that's cool.

Now, I'm not arguing for a Pelagianist view that thinks child are born perfect and then corrupted. Rather, I'm saying that there is a child-like worldview which more closely resembles reality than the cynical adult-ism that so many of us get caught up in.


See also: Butterflies and Growingdown

No comments:

Post a Comment