As an eight-year-old, I think I thought grown-ups were invincible and all-wise—always knowing exactly what to do and when.
In my mind I was just facing facts: my self-created pigtails always turned out lopsided, while Mama’s hair was always perfect.
I was the one who infamously offered the gift of canned pickles saying, “Here, these are for you because we don’t like them!” while adults in general seemed to know just what to say to smooth over an awkward situation.
I had friend drama, and I made stupid mistakes, but I had faith that with citizenship in “grown-up land” would come all the benefits of wisdom, assurance, and invincibility. I knew adults weren’t perfect—my parents were humble and honest with me about their mistakes—but I thought that at the very least they felt grown-up.
I never dreamed that adults still felt like eight-year-olds on the inside.
I never dreamed that grown-ups thought their pigtails were always lopsided, that grown-ups said awkward things about canned pickles too, or that they had friend issues and even bad days as well. And I never dreamed that all those things were doubly complicated just by living in grown-up land.
My eight-year-old friends and I had these problems, but we had simple conversations about the fact:
“My pigtails are lopsided.”
“Yep, they are.”
“Oh, well—do you want to play house?”
I’ve discovered that grown-ups have complicated, round-about deliberations:
“My pigtails are lopsided.”
“Oh, no—no, they look beautiful!”
“Do you think so? No, I really think that I look terrible.” (And then proceed to dwell on it for the rest of the day.)
So while I thought that citizenship in grown-up land guaranteed wisdom and perfection, perhaps all it really guarantees is a good cover-up for that eight-year-old humility. Perhaps that is why Jesus was so displeased when his disciples turned those sweet little ones away, and said,
“‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the
. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdomof God as a little child will by no means enter it.’” ~Mark 10:14-15 kingdomof God
Let’s have the truth out here and now: no 22-year-old or 50-year-old or 80-year-old feels like a grown-up or feels like she has it all together.
But many 22-year-olds and 80-year-olds pretend to have it all together, alienating those around them. Others are going through the same things that we are but pretend they aren’t because we are pretending we aren’t because we feel insecure because of their perfection when really they are insecure because of our perfection…
I’m done with grown-up land. Take me back to be one of those little children running to Jesus’ lap, my toothless smile the biggest thing on my face. I am confident in nothing except that His open arms will be there to receive me, even when that big Judas who seems to have it all together steps in my way. I am proud of nothing except that Jesus is wrapping me in a big hug. I am not invincible or all-wise, but I am being held by the One who is.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Photo Credit: ishane