Thursday, October 20, 2011

Child-like Enjoyment

" Indeed, not every age can receive every aspect of the Christian reality and, in our estimation, early childhood is the time of serene enjoyment of God. We have already mentioned the aspect of enjoyment in the religious fact; we believe that it is afforded too little attention in general, and particularly in relation to the religious initiation of children." ~ Sofia Cavalletti, The Religious Potential of the Child

I have been reading this book for my training in the Catechises of the Good Shepherd and this passage really came to my attention. seems that it so often alludes me {especially when me depression creeps up}. I want enjoyment. I want to be serene and happy and at peace with God. I have been blessed as of late to witness the prayers and thoughts of children and they are amazing! They are never sorry {at the ages of 3-6 they haven't gotten to the age of reason} and they thank him for everything! Their prayers are happy and positive and full of overwhelming thoughts that they cant even put into words! In fact they have a hard time finding the words to say what they are thinking. Do your prayers sound like that? Mine don't. They are full of sorrow, of exhaustion, of petition, with a few thanks thrown in for good measure. Prayer should be a happy time. When a child is spending time with a parent they are happy no matter what is going on. They have mom's attention and they are happy, even if things are really bad around them. When we come in contact with God we should have that too. In fact he wants us to be happy to talk to him! He wants us to enjoy our time with him even if its a brief time in the middle of everything else that is stressful. Enjoying God is not something that is talked much about, but I think that it is just as important as feeling sorrow over our wrongs and empathizing with others. If you are in a relationship that you don't enjoy then it will die and that happens so quickly.
So how to change that? For me I think that just reading the Bible. Not trying to gain huge inspiration, but just to read and spend time with God and enjoy that will be a big start. Children, when they discover something, have this look of amazed wonder on their face that is so beautiful! Its starts with realization, and blossoms into the biggest smile and look of wonder as they connect the dots of what they have learned. I have those moments sometimes when I read something or see something that makes all the things going on make sense. All of a sudden it dawns and you can see the bigger picture! If I take the time to read the Bible maybe it will allow me to have more moments of discovery where I see what is going on in my life as part of the bigger picture that God has.To not just see the hard days {where the dinner is awful, the kids didn't nap, the house is in shambles, I am crying} as the only part of my life. But to see them as God does. To see them as a child does, just another day to learn something, try something, and move on. Children don't seek discovery, they absorb it as it comes. I don't need to be a bible scholar to have beautiful moments of enlightenment! Thank God for that! I just need to wait for God's timing and be joyful until the time is right! Wait for God to show me what I need to see! I just need to seek time of enjoyment with him!
 So I think that we need to "become like little children" and enjoy our time with God. We need to revel in the joy that he brings and to rediscover the passion of discovery in small and big blessings! And sometimes that means waiting with happy anticipation {like a kid at Christmas}! I praise the Lord for the chance to see for myself the faith of a child. It is simple, beautiful, and happy! Thank you Lord for these moments to see into small souls and be humbled by it.

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