Dr. Seuss said that “Adults are obsolete
children.”  Many of us fear that obsolescence.  We don’t want to be unrelentingly grim and
somber and to shoulder so much “grown up” responsibility that it breaks our
backs and our spirits. 

We want to keep or, if we’ve lost them, to
recover the wonder, playfulness, and delight of children. Jesus want us to keep
and recover them, too, which, I’m convinced, has something to do with his
telling us we have to become like children to enter the kingdom of God.
Of course, there’s a vast difference, which we
all recognized, between childlike and
childish.  Childishness
is a problem for which childlikeness
is actually part of the solution.  Childishness
is, essentially, a kind of pathological self-centeredness which reduces life to
little more than “I-me-mine.” Childishness is uber-narcissism: “It’s all about me.”
Childlikeness is freedom, including freedom
from the burden of unhealthy self-consciousness (which differs so much from
healthy self-awareness). 
The freedom of childlikeness comes trust that
God knows us, welcomes us, and holds us close. It knows that when we fail and
fall, we fail and fall into God’s arms, which means we may risk the adventure
of living with holy abandon. 
We don’t have to hedge and trim who we are to
be accepted.  God accepts us
We don’t have to dampen-down our voices or
hide our gifts, because we have God’s permission and encouragement to make full
use of who we are in pursuit of our own, and the world’s, healing and
We can live freely, like a child running in
the sunshine on a spring day, because God has given and is giving us everything
we need to be and do all that God has called us to be and do. 
We don’t have to search for the love we crave,
because God loves us already with a love so intimate, so powerful, so constant,
and so good that it turns us from a fear of life to an embrace of it. 
We live with our eyes, ears, minds, hearts,
and hands wide-open to the world, not because it won’t ever hurt us, but
because even hurt can’t separate us from the Divine. 
We live with playfulness and prayerfulness,
which are, I am learning, almost the same thing. 
Childlikeness revels and rests in mystery; it
welcomes and celebrates wonder as a way of knowing.
“Oh, the places you’ll go! There’s fun to be
done!” wrote Dr. Seuss. 
“Follow me. 
Become like children,” Jesus said. 
It might be that those invitations aren’t all
that different from each other.