Childproof (1,136)

May 4th, 2011

Obviously it was necessary. There is no doubt of the ongoing need to take precaution with chemicals, medications, cleansers and such to make sure they are childproof. After all, we don’t want our offspring to be “sprung off into eternity” by some sort of over-dose. Precaution is a valuable part of our society—as long as it is not the primary voice.

So there is a three-step process to protect our young ones from danger. We take all medications and poisonous substances and we (1) make them bitter. Even if they normally don’t taste that way, we place an agent into them so if a child takes a sip or a bite, they are repelled by the results. Then we (2) make them hard to get into—childproof caps, which often prove to be “me-proof” as well. And finally, (3) we put them out of reach, onto top shelves and locked cabinets, hidden away from a child’s view.

It is a noble cause and one worthy of a civilized society. My problem is when we apply the same principles and practices to things in the realm of the emotions and the spirit.

For instance, I think politics has become childproof. The bitterness and difficulty of getting into the system and how out-of-touch Washington and the government is from the average person has caused us to have professionals in charge who possess callous hearts rather than those who have a child-like vision for a better world.

Likewise, religion is certainly childproof. Although Jesus told us that “unless we become as little children, we cannot enter the Kingdom of God,” we have made the journey to spiritual maturity into a bitter pill, laced with the flavor of trial and tribulation. We have made the Kingdom hard to get into—obstacle after obstacle, doctrine after doctrine and restriction after restriction have spooked those who desire a simpler path. And then we put it out of reach. Even though God made the journey to earth in the form of Jesus, we have thrust Jesus back into the sky, to remain a distant deity.

It is not what was intended. “Childlike” and “childish” have become the synonymous in the mind of the average American—but they are obviously quite different. When we are childlike, we thirst to learn, with a curiosity that annoys those who have settled in to worship the last good idea they ever had. Childish, on the other hand, is a decision to stubbornly refuse to try anything new.

I think it’s a good thing that we keep our poisons and medications away from children, but I think the way we have childproofed our world, turning it into an adult malaise of boredom, is giving us the productivity of repetition and pelted our world with Xeroxes instead of masterpieces.

So what should we do, especially in the realm of the spiritual?

1. If we are going to have a childlike heart towards God, we must remove the bitterness. We are no worse off by being surprised by problems than we are when we anticipate them. A childlike spirit believes life is sweet—and when it isn’t, that spirit remembers the good times while waiting for the sweetness to return.

2. If we’re going to develop the childlike nature that Jesus required, we have to make reaching God, loving one another and discovering ourselves to be the same fluid action by removing all complexity and not making it so difficult. In other words, what I think about myself is actually what I think about you, which ends up being the nature of God that I believe to be accurate. Don’t ask me to repeat liturgy or confessions of faith that talk about my depravity and then anticipate that I’m going to walk out with the joy of the Lord to live in the fullness of the Spirit. There is nothing wrong with teaching the Bible as long as there are other works being taught and shared that are coming fresh from the minds and spirits of those who are alive around us. Both Jesus and Paul would be astounded that nothing new is coming out of the church but what was written and declared 2,000 years ago.

3. And finally, if we want to have a childlike faith—which is a requirement of the jesonian life—then we must put God within our reach. I don’t understand heaven. And please, don’t send me a pamphlet explaining it because you don’t understand it, either. This is why the Bible says “eye hath not seen nor ear heard what the Father has prepared for those who love Him.” So the goal of all spiritual discovery is to make sure it has an earthly application. Thus the value of Jesus. He is the only one who has traveled between both worlds and has congealed a philosophy that honors the dual realms. “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Exactly.

It is time for us to stop childproofing the gospel—because without childlike hearts, we cannot please God. And our adult frenzy of proposed maturity is doing nothing to advance the cause of mankind—but rather, only providing us new subject matter for bickering.

Let’s keep the medications from the children, but as we keep the child in our hearts, let’s remove the bitterness and make sure that the things of the Spirit are not hard to get into—and never out of reach.

Published in: on May 4, 2011 at 1:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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