The honesty of children—it’s something that keeps those of us in summer camp “young at heart”, I think. I was asked today by my seven year old, “Daddy, why do you look so old”? I quipped back, “Because I am old”! But his honesty reminded me that I can’t hide who I am, what I am, how I look from my four sons—particularly the younger ones, they simply have no filter. What they think comes our of their mouths instantly.
This can be a good thing, perhaps, or a very embarrassing and awkward thing. I appreciate their honest evaluations of me, at times (“why are you always mad at me”?, “why is your face like that”?, “why is your hair turning gray”?) but at other times, they spurt out the same pronouncements on total strangers—-e.g. “Why are you so old”?, “Is he/she going to die soon”? …and so on. They have not learned how to speak and respond tactfully and politely to things they see and the opinions that they form.
It’s funny, though, how they are comfortable asking about aging and death and, in general, the church and our society seems to shun the conversations. We know that we’re all getting older and we know that we will all eventually die, but we don’t like to talk about it much—even though it is an inevitable and certain part of our existence.
As I get older I find myself yearning, more and more, for that ultimate place for which I was created and redeemed to enjoy; I do think more about the joy that must be associated with freedom that comes from finally, one day, being totally emancipated from the worries, trials, frustrations, uncertainties, aches/pains and disappointments that life, on this earth, places upon every human being. I think that all men/women, both Christian and non-believer, have the same hankering for such a place of peace — a surrounding where things are “as they should be”——and we all know, innately, that things are not the right way on this earth.
So why do we hate to talk about death, dying and aging? I think it must only be the fear that we are not “sure” that we will continue! There’s that slight hesitation of not being 100% positive that all this talk about God, heaven, eternal glory, et al is real. But the more I know Him, the more I see His hand working in my life and the lives of those I love, the more certain I am not only of heaven and my place in it, but also of His desire to calm my soul for the time I have remaining here.
One day we will look back at our struggles, or aging, or aches and pains and we’ll probably smile and say, “Can you believe we ever doubted Him? Look at what He had prepared for us all along………”
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