"But if you give them a hard time, bullying or taking advantage of their simple trust, you'll soon wish you hadn't......Doom to the world for giving these God-believing children a hard time! Hard times are inevitable, but you don't have to make it worse--and it's doomsday to you if you do. Matthew 18 (The Message Bible)
Recently I have been on this new journey. When my "spiritual" world was turned upside down earlier this year, and a whole exciting world opened up, I felt like I couldn't get enough! I dived into, I want to "know" as much as possible thinking...I guess I fell into the "I want to do/be right in this journey". Those thoughts came from a background where "you have to know the Word", "baby vs. mature Christian", etc. are common phrases thown out constantly. So I began the dive, the more I got in, the more overwhelmed I got! I loved it, but each new idea made me think of 10+ others I wanted to look into! I felt the pressure (self inflicted I think!) that if asked about what my "newer" thinking was, would I be able to "defend" it. After a cool time at a Prayer Labyrinth (something I had never used before) I began to sense God like no other time in my life! What I felt was "open your heart and be child like, there isn't a 'Right' way to journey with me".
Since that time, being child-like has shown up in readings...the Bible, books I am reading, conversation, etc....
I read the previous passage from Matthew 18 this morning, and there it was again. I think for where I am at, it speaks to me in a couple of ways. The first is for my journey! I have had to try to be childlike again! When I am childlike I am more receptive, open to others, more willing to follow. Sometimes being childlike doesn't always have the best results, but it's usually more sincere. When I am not childlike, I am more dependent on "my understanding", need God less, am more arrogant, uncompassionate, etc. One of the other ways that this passage speaks to me, is is how I relate to others in their journey. I think too often "Christian culture" can be very judgemental, critical, non-compassionate, not loving, etc. "We" get into our heads, where "we" think others "should" be at. We don't allow for where they are at in there journey, or what God may be doing in there life. If we don't handle our relationships with care, we could and do "make things worse". I know and was one, who ran the opposite direction from God. Not because of God, but because of the people reflecting God to me (which in many ways, I think now was not God at all). This really makes me hurt for those that have rejected spirituality and God, because of the humans that are supposed to be " God's Image".
This passage inspires and comforts me, though. I lets me pursue God with an open, childlike heart. I don't need "all the answers", that is not the point. I can accept this as an everlasting journey where, hopefully, I will have to keep coming back to a childlike state to grow and be led by God. Only God knows my heart. It also allows me to love, accept, be compassionate, and gracious with "all of God's people". Again, because only God knows where their heart is.
Just some thoughts. If you get something else out of this, or want to share, I would love to hear your comments.