During the sermon this morning, our pastor asked what we thought it was like or meant to be a child of God. The congregation wrote down answers and was invited to share if they wanted to.
There were some really good responses. Actually, all of them were good. Being a child of God is like…
…being able to serve.
There were many, many others. But I noted something while I was at lunch with my friends. All of them were very adult answers. That is, they were answers an adult would give. They are answers that speak of a life that has had its share of pain and sorrow as well as joy. They weren’t the innocent answers of a child (how could they be?). The response at lunch was telling. My friends replied that of course they were adult answers, there weren’t any children there.
I didn’t have opportunity to reply as the conversation turned on its merry way to other delightful topics. But I felt sad at that fact. They were right, the congregation was full of adults and a baby or two and at least one child, but I doubt there were two present. The rest of the kids were in their own Sunday morning activities having fun and learning in a different way instead of being in the church service.
Then again, they weren’t right. The room was full of children. The sermon spoke to that. These children had simply forgotten a little bit about being children. As if Peter Pan really did grow up.
Being a child of God is indeed about peace and compassion and joy and forgiveness and love. But a child generally doesn’t think in such clear terms. At least, I didn’t when I was a child. I simply knew I was safe at home or with my parents. I didn’t need to describe it, it just was. I took it for granted, no doubt, but that was part of the indescribable nature of the whole thing.
So I thought about my own answer to what it is like to be a child of God, but in the way an adult who is thinking as a child would answer.
Being a child of God is like…
…running through the sprinklers on a summer day.
…ice cream in a sugar cone melting onto your hand.
…skinning your knees in a baseball game.
…trying to swing all the way around the swing set.
…playing freeze tunnel tag, no tag backs, safe zone at the oak tree for five seconds.
…a rainstorm while the sun is still shining on the horizon.
…staying up past your bed time for a fireworks show.
…running, for no reason, in any direction.
…water balloon fights.
…making a sand castle and wondering where the tide takes it.
…being friends with everyone else around your age because that’s just how the world works, isn’t it?
At least, that’s what I think. How about you?