Watching children play is always fun. They rarely care who is watching. They are who they are. And their motives are transparent in every way one can imagine. Except for the rare brief moment, words such as team, sharing, and unconditional never pass their hearts. Even when the activities are going incredibly well, the mothers and fathers involved stand by, on the ready, prepared to intervene when the peace is shattered by the first one to express the values of their heart. Everyone knows the focus is “mine”.
We accept it for what it is, yet we also wonder when it will end and the kids will grow up. I look in the mirror, reflect on the people around me, and see that most have never really moved on from the age of five or six. I wonder what values I hold closest to my heart. Has nothing changed from the days of my childhood? Do my beliefs I think I hold now touch the choices I make and actions I take? The sad commentary is that through the years there has been little change across the generations. Even in Jesus’ day “a considerable number from the ranks of the leaders did believe [in God’s revelation]. But because of the Pharisees, they didn't come out in the open with it. They were afraid of getting kicked out of the meeting place. When push came to shove they cared more for human approval than for God's glory.” (John 12.42, 43)
Yesterday I watched grown men play a game often reserved for children. We cheered our team. We sang the songs. We covered our eyes when we knew the momentum wasn’t going our way. And in the end we sat in silence, stunned as the French loyalists around us cheered and waved flags of victory. The kids, grown adults by any measure, on the winning team danced around the pitch, celebrating with the fans. What mattered most was clear.
Today is unwritten. You and I have a clean slate. We can write anything we want. What matters most?
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