RSS

Inner Child makes the Flying Leap!

28 Dec

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason R. Zalasky/Released)

This will be a very simple, fairly short, post. A few days ago I posted “How to be Great!”  challenging all of us, Gentle Reader, to increase our awareness of the Intimate and Immediate Presence of God through developing (or rediscovering) simple childlike trust, and applying that to Our Father.

I phrased this thought in a comment below the post, thus:

“[Our Father] has LOTS of children! …  It goes on and on and on. All it takes to enjoy that play… those warm strong arms and hands… is a brisk sprint and the flying leap in His direction, trusting that He catch you. He ALWAYS does. He ALWAYS has. He ALWAYS will.”

Our Father delights in children. I’ve said before that the single unrelenting truth I see repeated throughout the Bible from one end to the other, is the ongoing saga of God seeking to live intimately among His children… to provide for us, care for us, protect us, love us… and our equally unrelenting determination to resist or eventually sabotage His efforts.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

But here’s a critical thing I neglected to mention in the challenge to Trust…

In order to know that experience… of being caught and cherished in Our Father’s strong warm arms and hands… we MUST first make that flying leap of faith.

What’s worse… Only our Inner Child can do that!

Think about it. How likely are you, or me, or anyone else… to get a sprinting running start, and then leap out into empty space? How silly do/would we feel? Ever gone to one of those… (I’ve thought of several adjectives to insert right here, but I’m resisting the impulse)... “Teamwork Building Workshops” in management or an organization? You know… the ones with the obstacle course, the ropes course, the puzzles to work out? The ones where you do the “Trust Fall” and let yourself Nestea-Plunge backwards in the hope that your colleagues and teammates will catch you, preventing a heart-stopping diaphragm-paralyzing fall that puts you in traction for a week? Ever been there? So… how silly does all that feel?

You have to “change gears” to get into all that. You have to “shift into Game-Mode”. Remember the folks who seemed to be having a great time, and did pretty well? Then, remember the grumps who just stood off to the side, arms crossed, shaking their heads at all this “waste-of-time-foolishness”?

What’s the difference between those two groups?

The first have discovered and liberated their Inner Child. The second, have him/her locked in their room for the duration (of life).

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So what has any of this got to do with Prayer, with the Bible, with Jesus, Little Monk?

Just this… does God love us any less when we grieve and confine our Inner Child? No. He loves us just the same.

Is there anything “wrong” with behaving like a mature, sensible adult in our lives? No, of course not… that’s why we bother to grow up at all!

Then what are you talking about?

Our upbringings… our parents, mentors, teachers, school, religion… teach us “Da Rules” to constrain and conform our Inner Child to adult norms of behavior. (That is a GOOD thing. Inner Child, left to his/her own devices can become a selfish little monster.) Inner Child is that essence of the “self alone”, of “me”, of “my”, without much regard for others except as they bring us comfort or pleasure. Our “Inner Parent” is the authority, the Rulegiver, the programming we carry with us telling us all the objective standards for right, wrong, acceptable, unacceptable, and what makes us OK or not.

As we grow and develop, these interactions go along, and we become the “Inner Adult”… the personal voice of judgment, reason, consideration, and decision-making on what we do, what priorities we set, what values we adopt, and how we choose to live.

Sooo… this leads into Jesus… how, exactly?

Just this. We can become utterly addicted to our Inner Adult. We can, gradually, surreptitiously, become convinced that our own judgment… our own thinking… our own reason… is the only trustworthy criterion we have for choosing lifestyle. And, to be perfectly frank… Jesus “won’t fit” inside that paradigm at all.

Jesus can certainly “work with” it. We can “believe” in Him with our head. And we can “confess Him” with our mouth. And thus… assuredly… we can be “saved”.

Is that enough?

Yes. Yes it is. That “saves… from the pains of the second death and fires of hell”. We can say all the Roman Road “magic words”… confess our sins, ask Him into our hearts and lives, declare our willingness to be His, and He is EVER and ALWAYS faithful to take that offer, redeem us, and declare us His forever. Yes.

At that point… at that moment… we are “safe forever” from the Father’s Wrath and Punishment Due Our Sin! Yes.

But again, I ask… Is that enough? Is that enough for you? Was it enough for me?

It was not. I want/wanted more. I want/wanted all God has/had/will ever have for me. I want to love God with ALL my heart, mind, strength… to love as Jesus loves… I want so much MORE than “enough”.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And then one day, God answered the “desire of my heart”. He issued a challenge, I responded, and everything changed. I’m not going to tell you “how that went down” for me, because such words create an expectation that that’s how it “should go down” for anyone or everyone else, and that’s just not true. HOW such things progress is individual… as the Holy Spirit ushers one’s own soul along the right path.

But here was the challenge…

“Only one’s Inner Child can make the leap of faith… the Trust… that you crave, Little Monk. Put aside, for the moment, all that you know… all that you think… all that maturity and training you’ve worked to endure… embrace your Inner Child, and give that permission to leap… unrestrained… into the Void calling My Name. I shall catch you… every single time. There is nothing to fear.”

[NOTE: Please bear in mind, Gentle Reader… though this should go without saying… I speak here of a Prayer Event… a metaphorical leap. This is an experience of meditation and prayer. This has nothing to do with children’s tying a towel around their necks, and plunging off the garage eaves! Please step off no roofs, climb from no boats in deep water expecting to walk ashore… None of that, to be taken from this post!]

There is nothing WRONG with our Inner Adult. But he/she is “limited” by the horizons and boundaries of our own minds and hearts. Only when we embrace and accept our own Inner Child… allowing him/her access to our prayer lives, will we discover the trusting Leap of Faith.

I am reminded of an instruction oft-repeated to me years ago, long before I came to understand it…

“Please stop trying so hard to be Jesus. Only Jesus can be Jesus. Instead, just try to LET Jesus be Jesus IN you, because only He can.”

Jesus never lost His embrace of His Inner Child. His Inner Child always knew the Joy and Love of Our Father!

Now, Gentle Reader… go “play” for a bit!

 
4 Comments

Posted by on December 28, 2015 in Quiet Time, Sermon Seeds, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 responses to “Inner Child makes the Flying Leap!

  1. Cate B

    December 28, 2015 at 9:53 AM

    LM – I love this post. I’ve been very busy lately being “a mature adult” – blah. I love the way you talk about faith – I love my inner child.
    Thank you.
    cate

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Little Monk

      December 28, 2015 at 11:49 AM

      Thank you, Cate! I’m so glad some of my jottings resonate for you. Nothing wrong with BEING a mature adult, and balancing that part of ourselves in relationships with others and with God. We need to be able to rely on one another to honor commitments, behave in a predictable manner, perform our duties… all those “adult” skills we learn through the disciplines of growing up.

      “And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” [Luke 2:51-52]

      and

      “Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” [Philippians 2:8-11]

      In short, Jesus matured as time went on.

      Nonetheless, He never lost… and I (for one)… have had to learn to regain, the sense of “safety” and “wonder” in the hands and arms of Our Father. The saddest thing, among those I know and love, is that they often have no doubt whatever about Our Father’s ABILITY to care for them and all their needs… regardless of their own attitudes, behaviors, whatever. On this they have perfect “faith”. But they often have fears, doubts, concerns about Our Father’s WILLINGNESS to care for them… thinking His love and care are contingent on them somehow. As if Our Father loves them more when they “behave well, and get it all RIGHT”… as opposed to loving them less when they mess up, do wrong, or behave badly.

      It seems ironic how many people have a very strong, true, right image of JESUS through the Gospels… but yet see Our Father as being utterly different, crueler, colder, harsher. So many I know really do trust and love Jesus… but count on Him to provide a “safety shield” between them and Our Father on the other side of Him, just waiting to catch us out and “git us!”

      Philip *said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus *said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.” [John 14:8-10]

      and

      “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.” [Hebrews 1:1-4]

      I’m almost fearful of showing these verses to so many I know and love. They live in a false dichotomy of Jesus (Advocate Protector) VERSUS God the Father (Wrathful Judge)… as though they OPPOSED one another. Rather than being perfect reflections, conjoined images, of one another. I am careful when I make this point to some, because they have so programmed fear and terror of God Almighty into their hearts, the cringing, the cowering, the terrified awaiting for the wrathful blow… that such terror could shatter their (often tenuous) grasp on the power, the glory, the grace of Jesus Himself.

      Jesus and Our Father do not OPPOSE one another. They fulfill their conjoint will in unifying us all into His Kingdom, reconciling us to Himself through the incredible work of the Incarnation/Redemption.

      Yet it seems I ask so much… for some, too much… when I challenge that not only we cease our terror “to fall into the hands of the living God” [Hebrews 10:31]… but that actively we SEEK OUT those very hands, sprint towards them, and launch with reckless abandon of love towards Him. For so many, it seems insurmountable to move from the “terror” to the “trust”.

      I suspect that to be is the greatest grief Our Father knows.

      Thank you for being a trusting Kingdom child, in whom Our Father can take the comfort of His own delight!

      Joy to you this day, and throughout the coming year! — LM

      Liked by 1 person

       

I love comments, Gentle Reader!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: