As a part of my routine when I am in the church office, I go down to the undercroft, get a cup of coffee and visit with the preschool children. There is always lively conversation and excitement. I am introduced to some of the children’s recent creations, invited to play cars, dress up, color, and read books. There is an energy of wonder, vivaciousness, amazement, and exploration that undergirds everything they do. Just recently the children observed a butterfly emerge from her chrysalis while they were in class. You can’t even imagine how ecstatic the children were.
Sometimes we are enamored and long to have the excitement and wonder of a four-year-old. Perhaps you have thought, as have I, that it would be nice to remain at age four and never grow up. Just like Peter Pan, there is a part of us that desires to remain a child and in so doing avoid the tumult of the growing and knowing of adulthood. To grow is to change and we often want to remain in the wonderment of a four-year-old or the solid earthbound existence of a sixteen footed caterpillar. After all, 16 caterpillar-walking-feet on the ground are as stable as you can get but taking flight from New Hampshire to Mexico with small butterfly wings is uncertainty.
Here are some questions: What does the four-year-old know of watching a sunset with a friend of thirty years, savoring the imagination of a poem, the soul singing Handel’s Halleluiah Chorus, or the touch of the one who loves you in spite of all your foibles? What does the slinky caterpillar know of floating on the wind, the taste of flower nectar, or the warm of the Mexican sun?
Transformation and change are central to growth both personally and as a church and is essential for healthy Christian faith. If we did not grow, if we resisted the chrysalis, avoided the resurrection, stayed clear of new life in Christ, what would we miss? Being stunted in faith and life only shrinks us and we miss out on the abundant life Jesus offers us.
Let’s continue to grow, change, transform, and resurrect with God’s providential guidance.