I’m realizing us adults can really just be too serious.
Yes, there are serious matters and problems in life and serious purposes and callings we have. But the moment we stop laughing and enjoying the goodness around us, the more it leads to our anxiety bubble exploding. Or whatever kind of “bubble” that may be for you in your daily life: guilt bubble, fear bubble, apathy bubble, etc. Whatever the “adultlike” tendency you’ve developed that just makes you borderline too serious and away from joy and living and giving in freedom.
This all comes to mind for me in a moment from yesterday morning. We had this fundraiser breakfast to help with our trip with 85+ athletes down to P.A. for an FCA Camp experience in a few weeks. There was money to keep track of, people to greet, and the anxious feeling of, “Will people show up and eat pancakes?”
And then in the midst of all of that, four-year-old Charley was throwing a blown-up plastic glove in the air and laughing hysterically.
No wonder Jesus affirmed “little children” multiple times when the all too serious adults waved them to the side. Just one example:
15 One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him. 16 Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 17 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” -Luke 18:15-17
Just before that passage, Jesus was talking in parable form of a tax collector vs. a Pharisee in how they prayed and received God. The religious and all-too-serious Pharisee thanked God he wasn’t as messed up as those sinners. Contrast to the tax collector who begged God to have mercy on him. A humble way of receiving God. And isn’t that children! Often children are full of hope and receiving of love before they start to grow up and see and experience the stains of the serious and hateful parts of us.
As we seek to lead and do “serious things,” may we remember how it is to love and enjoy the beauty around us. May we balance out the serious ways we can give and lead with a mindset of excitement and hopeful anticipation of possibilities. May we laugh more and try to be like our truest selves from childhood.
Let’s take a look back and remember how we lived and loved as children. What can help us to become like children again? What can help us to receive the love of God and people in our lives, humbly and eagerly?