Wednesday, June 28, 2017

"When I Grow Up, I Wanna Be"

"When I was four, I thought I knew, but now that I’m forty-seven, I don’t have a clue." These words rolled off of my tongue recently, and they had the bitter taste of frustration and fatigue. The reality and truth in this little rhyme that I wrote on a whim, had a powerful way of commanding my admission of its relevance in my own life, and my attention to the question, "So NOW what"? Do you remember in elementary school when your teacher would go around the room and ask each bright eyed student, "So what do YOU want to be when you grow up"? Do you remember the creative thought processes that buzzed around in your fertile, untainted, un-jaded minds as you excitedly awaited your turn to share your dreams and imaginations with the rest of the class? "A fireman", "A policeman", "A professional athlete", "A doctor", "A dentist", "A rockstar", "A scientist", "A teacher"! All of these responses evoked oooo’s and ahhhhh’s from the other students listening! There was so much hope and expectancy in the voices of those proclaiming their desired "destinies", that it excited EVERYONE in the room! Nothing at all could keep the faith in those children from burgeoning into a definitive palatable reality to be experienced with certainty! It was a done deal! I said I wanted to be a rockstar, so I will be! Case closed! No doubt! No debate! What a confidence we had as kids. What we spoke, we believed! What we imagined, we expected! How quickly things can change, as we "mature" into fear, opinion-driven decisions, and cynically perceived life experiences.
When did the passions in our untainted hearts fall victim to outside perspective and negative emotions? Can life be so cruel, that it heartlessly and maliciously takes the God-given dreams and creativity of a hopeful heart, and crush them under the weight of “real world” thinking and fear-based logic? It certainly seems that way so often.
While wrestling with the embarrassing prospect that I evidently knew more about what my purpose and destiny were at four years old than I do now, I was made aware of this incredible, and encouraging possibility. What if the dreams, imaginations, and desires that we had as children were actually what God had in mind all along? What if we were the ones who “strayed”, or got off course? What if our destinies were set in motion, but intended to be realized only as we stayed closely and intimately connected to the source of that destiny? What if an infinitely creative God who loves us madly, always intended for us to see those dreams become reality? What if we could so easily visualize our dreams and “taste” those imaginations because, as children, we were closer to the heart of the One who placed them there than we are as “grown ups”? As kids, maybe our faith wasn’t as distorted by circumstance, opinions, outside perspective, or fear. Instead, we believed and expected to see! I kind of have this image of God’s process or journey for our lives, being one of “returning” or maturing into a child! Children love! They trust completely! They have limitless imagination! They take you at your words! They never lose that sense of wonder! They laugh! They are care free! They know how to rest!
So perhaps it’s a great day for me, even in the face of my forty-seven year old frustrated realization, what is really happening is that I’m being “returned” to the heart of my Father for me, and His destiny for me! And maybe the reason I feel so “clueless” about what I want to be now that I’m “grown up”, is that I’ve been trying to define THAT through “grown up” eyes instead of His heart. Perhaps? Journey on!

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