“It becomes very evident why our Lord tells us to become as little children (Mt 18:3), and what is involved in it; we can see how it is related to the theme of vacate, taking a break from being God, to let him be God. Little children do not have piles of important correspondence on their desks, nor rows of shiny telephones to handle all their important business transactions. Becoming as a little child means unlearning the false solemnity of adolescence, unlearning the false maturity and self-importance of ideology and puritanism. It means forgetting to run the world, forgetting to run one another’s lives. It means forgetting even to run our own lives.” (Tugwell, Simon. Prayer: Living With God. Springfield: Templegate Publishers, 1975, p. 39.)
So Tugwell highlights that aspect of children where they recognize their non-responsibility, but not irresponsibility. Children are not self-important nor self-sufficient. They don’t tend to think more highly of themselves than is supported by circumstances. It isn’t until later childhood and adolescence that self-importance seems to surface. Children rarely think of themselves as being responsible for the world around them like adults tend to do.
Father, how are You inviting me to resign from my pretending to be You? How are You wishing for me to find freedom from my own ideas, my own rules, my own imagined kingdom? How will I welcome Your way of life to reign in me? How will this find fruitful expression in the practical engagements of my life?
Here are a few past posts on the same theme:
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