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Faith Like a Child




I recently heard a clip of Joe Rogan talking about how goofy dogs are when they play fetch. He and his guest were both charmed by the fact that no matter how many times you throw the ball, the happy wag of their tail never wanes. By the end of the conversation, they both seemed a little envious of dogs and their ability to endlessly delight in such simple pleasure.

 

Their conversation reminded me of a G.K. Chesterton quote.

 

“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately. but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”

 

Why do we grow out of experiencing that pure joy?


As a culture, our disdain for monotony is growing. We buy hordes of clothes because we don’t want to be caught twice wearing the same outfit no matter how stunningly beautiful it may be. We spend gobs of time learning new recipes because our taste buds have grown accustomed to new flavors each evening. We’ve lost the ability to lend a listening ear to an intelligent conversation but rather swipe quickly past anything that is longer than an engaging sound bite.


The saddest area that our boredom with sameness affects us is with our faith.


How many of us drag our feet each Sunday as we head to church when we should be tingling with anticipation at the chance to encounter Christ “again”? How often do we hit the snooze for the third time rather than leaping out of bed like a child on Christmas morning because the thought of reading Scripture or praying “again” doesn’t spark joy?

I recently converted to Catholicism, and in many ways, I have been thrust back into being a newborn to the faith. Having come from a Southern Baptist upbringing, the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is a newly discovered treasure for me, and I am in the childlike stage of reveling in the newfound awe of Jesus allowing us to receive Him. It is like a kiss to my soul, and I look forward each week to going to mass with an enthusiastic fervor because I crave more of the same. 


But I know that eventually I will grow older and will have to work harder to maintain that childlike wonder.


It doesn’t come easy for us as adults, but striving to become more like a child should be a priority for us all. Jesus tells us in Matthew 18 that “unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” 


Whew—that’s convicting!


Lord, help me to always stay young in the faith. To always love you with the pure joy, trust, and humility of a child.

 

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