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Being Infantile  

Our first experience of life is marked by incomprehension and powerlessness. Like you, for a time I couldn't talk and didn't know what others were saying to me. I felt my needs but was helpless to do anything about it. I was hungry and many times afraid. I felt pain and discomfort. I didn't like being alone and cried to be comforted - often at night. Arms held me, but whose? At first I didn't know. I learned to trust those hands. They offered me food, warmth and a safe place to feel secure. A voice would sooth me: a voice I learned to recognize even if the words were beyond my understanding. For me and you, our introduction to life is characterized by dependence - complete reliance upon another. But things begin to change.  

I progressed past infancy and strode towards independence. With maturity came articulation and a growing skill set to care for myself. Each new competency offered a sense of accomplishment and also a sense of responsibility. Not only could I handle the issues of life, but I believed it was up to me to do so! I discovered ambition and self-sufficiency. With infancy behind me, I was ready to face my world. And then I heard the invitation of Jesus. "Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child, shall not enter it." (Mk 10:15). Jesus calls me to return to a place I thought I had left. If I am going to enter and understand His Kingdom, it won't be through my earned degrees, levels of competency or the independence I’ve built in life. I will have to accept the reversal of my natural defaults. I am to be infantile once more.  

What does that mean? It means admitting the needs of my soul are beyond my ability. I am keenly aware of them - but powerless to do anything about them. All I can do is cry out from the depths of heart - often at night. It means that there will be many things around me and within me cloaked with mystery. I will have to embrace the not knowing. I won't always be able to put into words the things I want or need. I may not easily recognize the Voice that speaks. Finding myself overwhelmed by matters I cannot control or create, I am left to learn faith. Like a child, I learn to trust the Arms that lift me. I will be fed. I will be protected. I will be comforted and healed. God does not abandon His children. He is never deaf to their cries or occupied with greater matters. I can rest secure in a love which holds me. You can too. So stop squirming. Abandon the tools of independence. Being mature is not the same as being your own master. Become as a child. Stay as a child. This is the way of His Kingdom.