As a kid, I like other kids wanted to be rich and famous. But even more than being rich and famous I really wanted to be a grow-up. I thought that as a grown-up I would possess all the freedoms I desperately desired. I also attached being rich and famous to those freedoms.
The Pussycat Doll’s hit song “When I Grow Up” described most adolescent ideals of the dream life of adult hood. The hook is “When I grow up, I wanna be famous, I wanna be a star, I wanna be in movies. When I grow up I wanna see the world, drive nice cars, I wanna have boobies. When I grow up, be on TV, people see me, be on magazines. When I grow up fresh and clean, Number one chick when I step out on the scene”.
Minus having “big boobies” and being the “number one chick on the scene” as a child I could relate to this song’s sentiment. What could possibly be wrong with that? Technically that’s what growing up should be about, right? Well, in a word, wrong. I could take this blog in the direction of dealing with the ills of materialism but that would be too easy. I would rather challenge the notion of wanting to grow up. Of course we all have to reach adulthood and take up adult responsibilities. But should we approach life like an adult once we reach and adulthood? Should we all grow up?
Some people reading this have been or are currently stress free. For some people, struggle is either a distant memory or not even a thought. Let me just be real with you. I have had intimate dealings with stressful situations. I’ve lived with the anger and frustration and have even had to look up at down. One thing about me weather right or wrong, I’ve learned and continue to learn to find ways to deal with stress without wearing it in such a way to bring my family’s moral down. Of course my wife and I have more in-depth discussions but we purposely keep our kids out of discussions about stressful situations that could potentially be unsettling for them. My kids pretty much live day to day assuming that they will eat and have clothes and a place to live. Thankfully we have good kids that don’t act like brats so they don’t obsess of unnecessary things during lean times. It’s amazing how my wife and I can work and strategize and our kids are not worried or losing sleep. They just live their lives expecting that no matter what their parents are going to take care of them.
As an adult there are periods of my life where I’ve lost sleep. I have worried about the outcome of certain life situations. During some of those tough times I’ve read positive, faith filled bible verses and still didn’t quite feel the peace I was looking for. I came across a passage of scripture that I never thought was meant to be encouraging. I read Matthew 18:3 “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” In other words Jesus was saying for everyone to approach life like a little child. Children, especially little children totally depend on their parents for everything they need. During one of those times I had an epiphany; my kids were laughing and having fun because their simple assumption was that their parents would give them whatever they needed.
Matthew 18:3 was all I needed to read. Of course as adults we can’t ditch our responsibilities but we can change the way we approach those responsibilities. According to Dueteronomy 10:14, Psalm 24:1 and 1 Corinthians 10:26-28 God owns everything we want or need. If we need money God controls every system that allows the acquisition of capital. If we need peace or a good night’s sleep God can provide it with ease. If transportation is needed, no worries, God owns all dealerships and every type or form of transportation. God even gives much needed forgiveness for our slip-ups. You name it, God’s got it. It sounds cliché but it’s true.
The thing that is amazing about Matthew 18:3 is that approaching life like a kid will allow us to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. To put it another way we have to approach life with a dependence on God like a child’s dependence on a parent to fully experience the dominion of Heaven. The domain of Heaven is ruled or dominated by God. If we live life expecting God to have everything under control then we can experience a state-of-being that is dominated by God. When things are dominated by God we can choose not to worry. Life becomes as simple as going to God for everything while allowing Him to dominate everything in our lives.
This makes Matt 6:26-33 come to life when Jesus says “Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”(NLT)
Obviously I am an adult but I am striving everyday to approach my life as a child of God the way my kids approach life under me and my wife’s care. There are times when my kids wanted to go places and have things and were not allowed because they did not see or understand the extenuating circumstances. That happens to us as children of God. We all have wanted or expected things without seeing or knowing the whole picture from God perspective. Like a child we sometimes think things would work out better if we took control of the circumstances of our lives. By giving up control of our lives we don’t have to worry about how to acquire things we need. In our ignorance and or arrogance we might not like how God dominates our lives at times but that’s part of not having control. When one is not in control they are in the position of a child.
The Pussy Cat Dolls sing the song, “When I grow up”. I’d like to do a Christian remix. The title of the remix would be “I Won’t grow up”. It could use a little work but you get the sentiment.
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