Old Before Your Time

Life is hard sometimes. People get sick. Family members pass away. We have bills to pay. Debts to reduce. Money that must be earned from long days of hard work.  

We have children who won’t listen, spouses who don’t hear. Bosses who place demands and leaders who set higher goals than we think we can ever achieve. Yes, life can be difficult. It can be a challenge. Life can be downright tiring!! 

It’s no wonder too many of us grow old before our time. It’s no surprise that we walk around frazzled and bedraggled. It’s not a shock that we’re, too often, tempted to give up the fight, to let the friction in our life take over and win. Life can just simply wear a good man out, and a mom with little ones, well, let’s not even get started!! 

Yet, Christ said we must become like little children. More Specifically, He said, “If you do not become like one of these little children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.” So, how do we do this? How do we live up to that kind of expectation when life just drains the life right out of us?? 

I think we can start to answer that when we stop looking at the trouble and problems of our lives and begin to look at a little child. Too often, the older our children grow, the quicker we forget the joys and wonders of childhood. Sometimes, I wonder if that’s why God allows us to have grandkids later in life…as a simple reminder of wonder.  

What are the cares of a little boy when he walks in his room full of toys? …where’s my train, my truck, my bouncy ball? What does the little girl think about as she sees her stuffed animals at the table? …why a tea party, of course, and whom she’s going to invite!    

These children aren’t consumed with the cares of this world. Most of the time, they don’t even know the cares of this world! They can get lost in a world full of imagination, wonder, fantasy and fairytale. All they long to do is play, sing songs and find the next fun adventure to take!  

We can take a lesson from them. You might want to argue that we, as adults, must put aside those foolish things of childhood in order to succeed in life, to accomplish the many tasks and expectations that are placed upon us.  

Oh, but I have to disagree. It’s not that we should remain in immaturity and never take the responsibilities of adulthood, but that we should never lose our wonder. We should never shut out our intrigue for imagination and adventure. We should never put aside our joy simply because we’ve grown a few years older. For this is where dreams live. This is where we go beyond simply surviving through life, and we begin to thrive!    

The Word tells us, “The JOY of the Lord if our strength!” It even says, “For the JOY set before Him, He endured the cross.” 
Even in our moments of sorrow, our moments of heartache, the child within us can still learn and grow. Even in our deepest time of fear and doubt, that child can push beyond that fear toward faith and a new tomorrow. It is the choice in how we think, how we see, and how we live out our lives that determines if we are thriving or simply surviving. It is a choice we can make, even today, to continue to grow old or to stir up the child within and allow him or her to breathe and to dream again. 

A great place to start is with thoughts of heaven and all the laughter and joy we will find there. Can you hear them? Can you hear the children laughing and playing? When a child laughs, it’s like liquid gold, for it brings a lightness to the air. Laughter washes away sorrow. Laughter drowns out fear. The laughter of a child can mend a heart and revive a soul. Can you hear them? Wouldn’t it be fun to join them once again?   

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