(There’s an audio version of this at the bottom of the page, or you can listen HERE.)
I remember running as a child through the forests near my home, through fields, down dirt roads, over creeks… I was always running, climbing, biking, jumping. Always moving, except for those intermittent times when a break was absolutely necessary and I’d find myself lying in the grass under a shade tree, or doing the same on a trampoline, looking up at the sky in all its expansive beauty and glory. I was always sure of tomorrow. Once I found out about God, I was always sure of Him, too.
I just did things. I just acted. I just believed. It was a beautiful thing. It still is, actually, and I miss it greatly. Adulthood brings with it a lot of things that we have no way of really knowing about when we’re just kids. It brings questions, doubt, fear. We begin to ask why and we stop trusting in others, and in God.
And the world takes hold of our innocence and crushes it like a grape.
And life gets difficult. And weird.
And we get addicted to any number of harmful things.
And we try to drown our pain in that addiction. In entertainment. In anything at all that will help to numb the heart-rending pain.
And some of us end our lives. Some of us come close enough to have the imprint of the trigger weight etched in our minds forever.
That got dark.
When I was a child, I knew Jesus loved me and that He died to save me. I knew it. When I got older, a lot of my emotional issues resulted from my inability to just know. It was no longer so easy to just know that God existed, which is why so many teens leave the Christian faith. Most people in past generations were content to believe what the Bible said, because the Bible said it. “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so” is a glaring example of this.
“How do you know Jesus loves you?”
“Because the Bible tells me He does.”
“How do you know the Bible is true?”
“Because it’s the word of God.”
“How do you know that?”
“Because the Bible says that it is.”
“Okay, but how do you know that part of the Bible isn’t true?”
“Because it’s the word of God. It’s all true.”
Don’t get me wrong, I have no issues with the song “Jesus Loves Me,” but I think you can see where I’m going. It’s super difficult to keep living with the faith of a child when that child is all grown up with the weight of reality bearing down on his shoulders. And “The Bible is the word of God because it says it is” doesn’t cut it anymore.
Does that mean I don’t believe in God or what the Bible says anymore? Absolutely not. I believe it now more than I ever have in my life. But it isn’t blind faith that I’m championing here. I thank God that He left more than enough evidence to prove His claims. This isn’t a post on Christian apologetics, though. It’s a post about how much I miss that child-like faith.
You see, I miss that kid who just knew. As an adult I need more, but as a kid all I needed was sunshine and grass and the promise of God’s love. Honestly, I wish it were still that way. Maybe I’m being ridiculous here, but there is a great loss that happens in the transition to adulthood. Would you judge me if I said I understand Peter Pan and why he vowed to never grow up?
Given the choice, I wouldn’t go back to childhood and I certainly am glad that I grew up, but I think we gloss over what we’ve lost because we don’t want to look childish or be judged. But judge me or not, I get that kid who didn’t ever want to grow up. For a short period of time, I was that kid.
Do you remember when thinking about tomorrow was a waste because you were so busy living in the day you were in? Do you remember when you were overflowing with the faith of a child? I do. It was awesome. I miss it. And while I don’t want to go back to childhood, I wouldn’t be upset about reclaiming some of that lost faith, life, and love.
I’m honestly a little apprehensive about watching my children go through that. I’m that dad who says “stop growing!” I know they won’t and I don’t actually want them to be stuck as children forever, but I lament the loss they will face, the weight of the world they’ll have to carry.
It saddens me greatly.
I guess I don’t really have any answers… just thoughts. I want to teach my kids to hold on to some of that. To be strong enough to stand under the weight of growing up and to not buckle. To hold on to the good things, like their faith in God, and to trust that He will work it all out and answer their questions in His time. To be inquisitive but patient. To be full of life and love and joy and light. To expect God to fulfill His promises, but to not throw tantrums when it doesn’t happen in their time.
There’s a lot that I want, and I trust God that if it’s good He will provide it, and that He will help me on this journey that is far more difficult than 8yo me could have ever possibly comprehended.
Well, that’s what I’ve got today guys. Let me know your thoughts down below! God bless and until next time,
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It’s been called “Chri-Fi” which I take as a compliment haha.