I have three boys. My oldest is an introspective and witty thirteen-years-old. My middle child is an enthusiastic and passionate eleven. And my youngest is a spirited and precocious seven-year-old. My oldest son is in eighth grade, right at the cusp of starting High School. My middle son is a Middle School student as well. My youngest is in first grade. Should that make me feel old? It doesn’t. Time passes so quickly that there are days when it feels like they should still be toddlers crawling and stumbling around the house. There are other days when I am shocked to find myself rapidly approaching a robust and not-remotely-daunting forty. Even so, I don’t really feel that much different than I did ten or fifteen years ago. Wait, that is not exactly true. In some very important ways, I was a very different person fifteen years ago. Back then, I was a recent college graduate that had most things in life figured out. When I say most things, I mean just that. I was very smart. I knew a lot of stuff. I had opinions on most topics and those opinions were ironclad. I was all sorts of awesome.
And then real life happened. Marriage. A real job. Kids. All those things. What did all of that cumulative responsibility do to me? It made me realize that I don’t have most of the answers. It made me realize that I am not remotely as smart as I thought and that I know far less than I envisioned. And you know what? That realization did not bother me at all. Before you start to raise objections, I am not justifying willful ignorance. Not at all. It is important to be a lifelong seeker of the truth.1 Lazy minds are wasted and wasteful and we should want no part of that. This isn’t about ignorance, or naiveté, or anything else of the sort. This is about proper self-perception; an accurate and biblical self-image 2. This is about hopefully taking a few haltering steps towards humility.3 This is about knowing that I don’t know everything and being willing to admit that, not only to others, but also to myself.
There are many things my kids don’t understand, yet they accept my word as truth in those situations. And that is okay with them. Even my oldest son still takes me at my word and trusts the things I tell him. They fully believe that I have their best interest at heart. And I do everything in my power to earn that trust and prove my love for them.
How much more can that be said about my relationship with God.4 He wants what is best for me at all times yet I continually “know” better and fight Him. I am doing my best to get back to the faith of my childhood. Getting back to approaching God as a child, knowing that the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like children.5 So, while I am getting older in physical terms, I am doing my best to get younger in the ways that truly matter.