Monday, August 18, 2008

The Wonder of It All

The other day our younger grandson and Pa were watching TV when a commercial came on. I can't remember if it's Toyota or Mazda, but it's the commercial where two guys come out from the left side of the screen and begin to do gymnastic stunts over a row of cars. Cartwheels, flips and whatever else they do. The camera slows down to slow motion as the gymnast begins his feat. Grandson said, "Pa. That looks really, really hard." Pa: "Well, your sisters do most of that stuff at cheerleading, but they don't do it over cars." "Yeah, but they sure can't do it in slow motion!" He's eight, and you would think he had seen enough technological trickery to catch on, but children so often tend to view life just as they see it.

One of my granddaughters asked me one day if I was mad at Pa. I began to assure her that I wasn't and asked her what had made her think so. She said, "Well, your voice sounds like you're mad at him!"

Children see what they see. Children hear what they hear. Children are what they are. Nothing is put-on with them. Even when you're in the process of teaching manners, it gets difficult at times because children are transparent. If they don't especially care for a person or a situation, it's hard for them to pretend they're happy being nice about it.

Remember when you used to be like that? Now we've all learned how to "pretend" so well that nothing's as it seems anymore. A young man in our Sunday School class commented yesterday that he was (and he was quoting a "Casting Crowns" song, but I don't know which one) tired of the plastic people and their plastic faces. I tend to be all out there. Spill my guts - that's me. But there are times when even I feel it necessary to put on my plastic smile and try to make people see me other than I really am. Is that good? Is it wise? I don't know, but we all do it. When we're constantly trying to cover our feelings or camouflage what's really going in our lives, we eventually lose our appreciation for the "realness" that comes with life. We get calloused. Watch a child. You'll see again the wonder of what God has placed around each of us. Take off your blinders. Be real for a change. Lie down in the backyard with your little one and imagine the shapes that the clouds make. Get them a big ball of clay and let them create some of the wonders they see in their little heads. Then let them paint their creation and set it out on your coffee table to remind you how wonderful life is. Be amazed! Be curious! Be real!