6. Growing Up

Matthew 18:1-7 (FNV)
The ones who walked the road with Creator Sets Free (Jesus) came to him. “Who is the greatest one on Creator’s good road from above?” they asked.

He has a small child come to him and stood the child in front of them.
     “I speak from my hear,” he said to them, “unless you become like a little child, you will not find the pathway onto the good road. The ones who humble themselves, like this little child, will become great ones in the Land of Creator’s good road.”

He then lifted up the child into his arms.

“The ones representing me who welcome a little child like this one welcome me.”

Then he spoke in a more serious manner.

“But for the ones who put a stumbling stone in the path of one of these little ones who trust in me, it would be better for them to have a great stone tied to their necks and be drowned in the deep waters! This world of sorrow and pain will make many stumble, but how terrible it will be for the ones who go along with it!”

The Call that Christ gives us is simple…so simple that a child can answer it. “Come, as a child to your Father.” But in the noise of this world, something intercepts those words, and leaves us without trust, faith, and hope. This is why we must learn to be children again to receive these words, and not to receive just these words, but even the Kingdom of God. We fight and scream because the humility that it demands cuts to the hardest part of our heart. It demands us to lay aside our pride and reach out in the innocence of the trusting child with curly hair, or a child in thirsty need of warmth. To trust that the thing that we’re betting our life on is true, that “somehow” broken wings will fly, and “somehow” the cynical will hope in joy.

So, what must happen? I think brokenness must happen. To complete the house to be what it was created to be, sometimes it means starting over. It means tearing down walls and breaking up the faulty foundation. It means relearning trust and faith. Finally, something is worthy of faith and trust but it’s risky to reach out, or rather, it’s deadly to reach out. It means comfort revoked until it can be found again in the Cross. It means forgetting ourselves as who the world has labeled us, and, discovering for the second time, or for some the first time, who we have been created as.

When asking one of the boys that I worked with at the mission school ‘what he wanted to be when he grows up,’ he replied, “I want to be myself when I grow up.” I believe that it’s this which Christ is calling us to. I believe He’s calling us to the faith and trust that children have in their parents, to be no one else but ourselves. As humans in a broken world, we are robbed of these things as we are invited to put that faith and trust in something plastic that will fade, break, and one day, be no more. The divine exchange and invitation of faith bids and calls us to trust the Father once again.

One day I was on my way to hike Canyon De Chelle on the Arizona Navajo Reservation with some friends when we stopped to use the restrooms at a fast-food restaurant. While we were there, my friends were watching their son play on the indoor playground. Their son, Caleb, was having a blast climbing all over the different platforms, trying to go up the slide the wrong way, using all fours to get up the steps, and other feats that probably would have seemed nearly impossible if he had less faith. He walked right up to the edge of one platform that was at least two feet high, and without a care or hesitation he walked right off the edge where his father was right there to catch him. There was no verbal communication, the child just had faith that his father would catch him, and his father did.

Will we trust? To make a grown-up heart into a child heart takes a miracle. I think that the miracle is an abandonment that’s reckless. Such abandon can only be driven by the reckless, passionate love of Christ. It is turning your back on the artificial things that the world offers and clinging tightly in faith to the One who loved you first and perfectly. It’s walking up to the edge of the vast expanse of our unknown future and jumping off into the only hands that are strong enough to hold your future.