Posted in Journeys by Seth Barnes on 4/6/2011
Children start out life going on a journey of discovery – they approach the first waterfall, the first rainbow, the first trip to the aquarium with wonder. For an orphan growing up without privileges, it can be as simple as the first trip to a fast food restaurant, the first look in a mirror, the first taste of ice. Their eyes grow wide and they exclaim, “Wow!”
Everything in life is new for a child; they are perpetually in discovery mode. The world hasn’t taught them to be cynical yet. They wake up to a physical reality in the same way that Jesus wants us to wake up to spiritual reality.
God put that sense of wonder in us just as he gave us the gift of laughter and of tears. And he never wants our journey of discovery to stop. Life may have slammed the brakes on it and tied us down with responsibilities that we can’t escape in the short-term. But for many of us, we are freer to leave than we realize. We may make the same sort of excuses that Jesus heard, but deep down, we can’t escape the yearning to continue that journey we started as kids.
Knowing we have much to discover about his kingdom and knowing how hard it is for us to see new things, Jesus emphasized our need to come to him as children: “He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'” (Matthew 18:2-3)
It’s easy to get stuck in life’s ruts, places where we’re trapped by past experience, by expectations, by relationships. Parts of the brain and spirit actually atrophy there. We need to break free – we need to get out of those places of immobility and limited imagination. We need to bungee jump something, trek somewhere; we need to cross a river on an elephant – our spirits cry out for experiences that will challenge us.
Do you need a change of scenery? Different surroundings, different people, different ideas? If something inside you feels stuck and knows there’s more, consider that maybe what you need to do is to go on a journey.