A story about a plane ride
The other day I was taking a plane to Washington DC to meet my wife there for a vacation after she had spent the week prior conducting business. The thing about planes is that they can get really crowded really quick.
I mean real quick.
Our flight was packed and the seats are so close together that if you are any sort of claustrophobic then you immediately begin to send up your prayers. Since you are in close quarters you hear all of the surrounding conversations going on, which would have been great except behind me were two toddlers who would literally not stop talking.
You could tell the mom was exhausted from answering all of there questions. In fact, at one point the little boy had asked his mom, “When are we going to be there?” she simply responded with, “Yes”.
The little boy was confused and slouched back into his seat. I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t laugh a little.
I managed to get some rest on the three hour flight but I awoke again to the kids behind me. I had realized that we had just arrived in to DC and the little boys behind me were amazed at the monuments and all of the big buildings.
They were firing off questions left and right, sometimes not even waiting for the mom to respond before they shot off another one. They would ask questions like, “How big do you think that building is?” and “Why are there so many monuments?”. The mom would then answer the questions which led to even more questions from the little kids.
My plane had finally touched down and as we exited the plane I knew that I would never see these kids again, but I smiled because they had reminded me of something.
They had reminded me of what it was like to be a kid again. To have an endless curiosity and a sense of wonder that kept encouraging you to keep discovering new things.
I want to think that’s why Jesus loved the company of little children. That may have been why he said that those with childlike faith would enter the Kingdom. Sometimes we lose sight of that kind of faith. We grow up and for some reason we have to pretend like we know everything and in reality we have no clue. We stop asking questions because we think not knowing the answers makes us look dumb.
That is a lie.
A true education is found not in having all the answers, but in asking the right questions.
When we feel as if our relationship with God is becoming stale it’s a good sign that we have stopped asking questions that move us. We stop asking the hard questions like, “Why does evil exist?”, or “Why can those who call themselves Christians be so hateful?”, or one that I have found myself asking, “Jesus, where are you?”, because we feel like we may not want to hear the answers.
To be childlike is to ask the questions our adult selves don’t have the courage to ask anymore. To be childlike is to be genuinely curious about God’s good creation and wonder out loud “What can we do to make it more awesome?”. To be childlike is to throw our assumptions out the door and begin anew.
Maybe the road is narrow that leads to eternal life is that way because the world tries it’s very hardest to harden our hearts and accept things the way they are and not ask any more questions.
Maybe, just maybe, that in order to walk the narrow road we HAVE to be childlike. Because if we weren’t, we would never be bold enough to do so. Because if we weren’t we would never ask the question, “What if all those who choose the company of misery are wrong?”.
To be a child of God is to embrace the joy and wonderment of not knowing all the answers. Once you do it free’s you up to see the world differently again, and what a world that could be.