Learning from the kids

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 Ask any child what they want to be when they grow up and every one of them will give you some kind of answer.  Firemen, princesses, soldiers, teachers and some pretty unexpected things as well.  Sometimes the answer is, “I don’t know.”   The answer you will never get…never is such a big word but I’ll go with it this time…The answer you will probably never get is “I want to be a 1st grader forever.”

Ask an adult the same question and all but the most clever will probably look at you funny and say, “I’m already grown up.  I am already who I am going to be.”

This should come as no surprise.  Kids spend pretty much every waking moment exploring, asking, learning and growing.  It’s their job and they know it.

This is where kids are smarter than we adults are.  They know that they are not finished.  They are still works in progress.  The truth is…we all are.  Sometimes we adults forget that.

The need to learn and grow and explore is never more true than in our spiritual growth.  The sacred is so mysterious and grand that none of us can really feel that we have finished growing spiritually.  We feel it at our core.  Sometimes we recognize it.  Sometimes it just feels like something is missing.

Spiritual growth is like growing a rare and delicate flower.  It requires work and attention and some special conditions.  You can’t nurture your spirit behind the wheel of your car while you are racing down the highway, late for a meeting.  You can’t nurture your spirit at the drive-thru.

Church is one of those places that is ideally suited for nurturing your spirit.  It’s why we go to church.  We often talk about coming to church because we like to see our friends or we like the music or we like to feel a part of something.  You can get those things pretty much anywhere.  I believe that, whether we are aware of it or not, we come to church to grow spiritually.  We know we can’t do that just anywhere.

We come to church to explore the Great Mystery, to ask big questions, to learn about the many ways to experience the sacred and to grow spiritually.  Like that rare flower that needs just the right amount of water, light, soil conditions, elevation…our spirit needs a special environment to grow.  At church…at First Parish Church in Taunton…is just such a place.

Watch the kids embrace their not-knowing and their curiosity.  We can learn a lot from the kids.

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2 Comments

  1. nance

     /  April 27, 2012

    Good one, Barry . . .

    Reply

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