It seems anytime you hear a child complain, adults always respond “if only I could be a child again”. Not always in a bad light, but in a “you have it so easy” kind of way.
Childhood. O the joys…
Adults, and the things that come with adulthood. These things can make us think.
We wish we didn’t have the worries.
We wish we didn’t have the responsibility.
We wish we didn’t have to think about money.
How nice would it be to go back to the days where your only responsibility is… well… nothing really? What if we lived as children our whole lives?
It sounds great in theory, but the actuality is completely different.
No control of the outcome
Really, it’d be a lot like being a sports fan. We all have our favorite teams, and it feels so helpless, because we have no control. Without control, you feel useless. And that’s really what childhood is: you are at the whims and control of others. Sure it’s great for a period, but life is very much meaningless. It’s like when the clock is ticking down at the end of the game and you see players making mistakes, but you feel helpless. You cannot do anything. You’re not the coach You’re not the owner. You’re not on the team. You sometimes wish you wouldn’t care anymore, but for some reason you cannot stop caring.
No feeling of success
Run your first 5k.
Buy your first house.
Getting a new job/promotion.
All these create a feeling. A feeling of success. As children we have emotions, and sometimes feel like we’re on a roller coaster. But the reality is, nothing compares to the successes you feel as an adult. Nothing compares to the results we have (or don’t) once we’ve taken real responsibility on our shoulders. Without responsibility, you cannot take credit for any result or accomplishment. Sure, there are negatives that come with responsibility, like stress, but without the consequences we couldn’t enjoy the success. The possibility of losing something makes the success at the end even more fulfilling. Without consequences, success means nothing.
No fulfillment of a purpose
Childhood is great. But what about the feeling of helping others, of raising children, of seeing your investment pay off. Sure, you have many good feelings a child, but nothing compares to feeling of actual purpose. Purpose is doing something for a cause, doing something for someone else, and doing something just because.
By the time we’re all grown up, we see the bad in the world. While we sometimes wish we could go back to the innocence, the reality is the knowledge of the bad makes the good so much more fulfilling.
Life without purpose… boring. If life was playing in the yard or riding your bike around the neighborhood every evening, what is the point? Now, I realize many adults still live this way. But those who live this way are bored too. They don’t feel fulfilled, they’re not happy with their job, and they’re struggling with the day to day.
So, the reality is, this could be a call to purpose. A call to doing something actually worth doing. Effect the world in some way. Because if you aren’t, you’re just living like a child.
Now, this is not an indictment on childhood in general. There is a time and place for childhoodness… like during childhood. Your time as a child is a time to grow, to learn, and to become whole. But, if you fail to leave those things behind, you’re not living for what we were meant to be… beings with a purpose.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 1 Corinthians 13:11
So, if you start asking for that childlike life again, think twice. It’s not as nice as it sounds.