I sat watching a five-year old play. It was amazing. His bright eyes, playful attitude, and fearlessness were intoxicating! Everything he did brought a smile. He had a firm grip on life that opened a fresh perspective to anyone willing to pay attention. Life was here for our enjoyment. We could have fun anytime we wanted. We are in charge.
It was the last point that triggered a reflection lasting well after the chaos of his presence has subsided. Within each of us there is an authority. We are in charge. We control more than we realize and less than we want. In my life, I see the following.
I have the authority to share truth as I see it. While the power has two edges, it is an opening to be expressive and engaged. The five-year old knew he had authority. He also recognized its limits. Defensively, Paul expressed his reactions well. “Don’t tell me that I have no authority to write like this. I’m perfectly free to do this—isn’t that obvious? Haven’t I been given a job to do? Wasn’t I commissioned to this work in a face-to-face meeting with Jesus, our Master?” (1 Corinthians 9.1) I am no different. I do not think you are either.
I can choose to be happy. In any situation, I can choose to be at peace within. I can embrace hope. I can exercise my freedom in responding. The combination can be a choice for happiness or an embrace of fear.
I can act. Life is a canvas on which we can make decisions and exercise choices. It is not static. It is not something somewhere else. It is here, now. We are part of something wildly out of control. It is natural outcome of a community with freedom at its heart.
I do not believe I have something others do not. The five-year old left me with an example of living life fully engaged. It was a wonderful reminder of what I can do with today. I can be five years old! I can live.