"Anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it" Mark 10:15
I mean, how many things can I say I do like a child? I hardly have the kind of lightness, carefree, trusting qualities I had as a child anymore...I'm stressed, I'm overwhelmed, I'm cautious. I'm a tad more concerned about what people think about me.
When I was little I didn't think twice about what people thought about me. There's an actual science about this. Erik Erikson's Theory of Psychosocial Development describes how we develop in relation to other people. As we grow up we can grow from trust to independence to a sense of identity to intimacy. We can also just as easily grow from distrust to shame to guilt to feelings of inferiority.
Life, the mind, our self-concept only becomes more complicated the older we get. And we know this more and more acutely as we grow older. Because I can remember how I used to feel and I wish I didn't feel so stressed and scared now.
It's all a lot to carry.
The rich man I read about in Mark today was similarly carrying a lot. To him maybe didn't feel like insecurity, fear, or unhealthy at the time. But this man was before Jesus, the one thing, and when Jesus asked him to give all his wealth and belongings to the poor, this man's heart sunk. Because how long did it take this man to accumulate this all? How hard did he work? How many stressful, fearful, overwhelming days and nights did he endure to earn it all?
How much of his identity did he have wrapped up in his wealth?
This man was hurting and broken down just as much as the next guy, he just looked more put together on the outside.
This man wanted Jesus but he did not have what it took to be with Jesus, just like you and me.
We don't have what it takes!
Whatever it is, money, our role, status, talent, relationships, jobs...whatever it is that makes us feel heavy and trapped and less like the free and trusting kids that we used to be, we do not have what it takes to give it up. We need Jesus, we need God, to intervene.
"How hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."
"Who then can be saved?"
"With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."
Jesus, You ask a lot of us. You call us out to crazy scary places that my heart is pretty afraid of sometimes. But You don't expect us to do it alone. You see the fear and doubt, You see the pain and insecurity and You do whatever it takes to break me free so that I can come before You, willing and trusting You just like a little child. Thank You.