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Monday, July 1, 2013

The Case of the Missing Child

My childhood was spent in the rural mountains of Pennsylvania.  TV was limited. (We only had Saturday morning cartoons!)  Internet had not yet been invented.  Computers were used mostly for data entry and DVDs wouldn't be in homes for almost another 20 years. 

But, none of that mattered to me.  The world was my theater, classroom, playground and wonderland.  The bushes going up my driveway became a secret spy meeting room for my sister and brother and I.  I danced and sang down the grassy hills of my grandparents' lawn pretending to be Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music.  The marshy pond at my great-grandfather's property became an enchanted place where I played the leading lady, Sleeping Beauty. 

It was in those early years that I started to discover what I love.  I started to discover who I was.  Being free, unhindered and uncensored in my playtime helped me relax and be present in the moment.  There was no worry or lingering thoughts that kept me from engaging in my magical time.   There were no deadlines to meet, bills to pay, political issues to debate over, people to please, or the voice of the world telling me to conform.  It was just me, my siblings and my Creator's Creation.

Even if you didn't grow up in the mountains, you might still be able to relate.  Life is simpler when you're a kid.  The big stuff you let the adults handle.  All you focus on is embracing the day and seeing where it takes you.  Even when you have to do a chore or a task, you make it into a game so that even the boring stuff becomes fun.  Worry is foreign and imagination rules.  Our childlike approach frees us up to discover the world for what it really is, discover ourselves for who we really are, and find God woven through every piece of our day.

But, somewhere the magic gets lost...

We grow up and grow out of our childlike wonder.  We think we are progressing.  We think we are moving into something better.  We turn into adults on the outside.  But if we listen to our hearts, we can feel the struggle.  The longing to be simple again without care or worry.  The hunger to embrace life the way we used to.  The urge to laugh more and to love with abandonment.  To help without thought of our own gain. 

But something else besides the magic gets lost.

Somewhere in it, we get lost, too.  We forget who are really are -- the one we discovered when we were free, unhindered and uncensored. 

But if we listen closely, we can hear the Creator calling us back to our wonderland.  He is giving us permission to be kids again.   He is giving us the nod, yes even strongly encouraging us! to go back to our childlike view of things, our childlike view of Him.  He tells us that our greatest role models in life aren't going to be the kings and queens and celebrities of our day.  No. 

He says, "See this child?  See how free and trusting?  See how she gives?  See how he loves?  See how they laugh?  Behold, your inspiration."
 

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