Being big kids
Days after reading it, lines from Paul Coelho’s By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept remain fresh in the thoughts.
Sometimes an uncontrollable feeling of sadness grips us”, he said. “We recognize that the magic moment of the day has passed and that we’ve done nothing about it. Life begins to conceal its magic and its art.
We have to listen to the child we once were, the child who still exists inside us. That child understands magic moments. We can stifle its cries, but we cannot silence its voice.
The child we once were is still there. Blessed are the children for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
If we are not reborn-if we cannot learn to look at life with the innocence and the enthusiasm of childhood-it makes no sense to go on living.
There are many ways to commit suicide. Those who try to kill the body violate God’s law. Those who try to kill the soul also violate God’s law, even though their crime is less visible to others.
We have to pay attention to what the child in our heart tells us. We should not be embarrassed by this child. We must not allow this child to be scared because the child is alone and is almost never beard.
We must allow the child to take the reins of our lives. The child knows that each day is different from every other day.
We have to allow it to feel loved again. We must please this child–even if this means that we act in ways we are not used to, in ways that may seem foolish to others.
Remember that human wisdom is madness in the eyes if God.
But if we listen to the child who lives in our soul our eyes will grow bright. If we do not lose contact with that child, we will not lose contact with life”.
“Ah!”, I hear it said, “we are not meant to be childish.”
Certainly, Saint Paul writes, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me”.
But Jesus also speaks, “He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven”.
Maybe, experience is the test of what is appropriate. Looking back, at which moments has life been at its happiest? The childish or the serious?
Thank you Ian for just the reminder I needed not to be too grown up all the time! I love following my two young sons on a trip around our garden, their sheer delight at coming across a newly flowering daffodil or finding a centipede under a log is a joy to behold. It seems clear that this is a big part of way that Jesus wants us to be in our relationship with Him, full of delight and wonder…
Ian, I have found happiness in both at different times. Like Daniel, I too like to watch a small child explore the wonders of this earth and I see them again through their eyes.