“Angels have a lot to do and they keep very busy. If you lose a tooth, an angel comes in through your window and leaves money under your pillow. Then when it gets cold, angels go south for the winter.” ~Sara, age 6~
Kids have big imaginations. Somewhere, however deeply hidden, there’s some nugget of truth that seeds their imaginings. If not truth, then some inaccuracy was fed to them along the way. There are many other possibilities than this, of course. My point, however, is that we often lay some errant thinking on a kid and never correct it as they get older. These become fodder for the imagination. Sometimes, these get substituted for the truth.
“Some of you are already getting angry with me…”
I wonder how often these “truths” get carried into adulthood? How many kids are under gross misconceptions regarding their own faith. Sara’s imagining is harmless, even humorous. She’s only six. Someday she’ll realize that angels don’t fly south for the winter (I hope).
Some of you are already getting angry with me because it sounds like I want to deprive children of their magical time of innocence. Trust me, I don’t. I’m only cautioning that sometimes we’re pretty careless with the truth when it comes to children.
“My angel is my grandma who died last year. She got a big head start on helping me while she was still down here on earth.” ~Ashley, age 9~
This one is a tad more serious. Ashley is nine and still believes people turn into angels when they die. We could say she’ll outgrow that, but I’ve run across several adults who still believed that one. What’s worse, it may well have been an adult that passed that one on to Ashley. Now, in her mind, grandma is an angel. That might never change.
I say that because, over the years, I’ve observed people in their journeys of faith. Watch a person as they grow from toddler to adolescent into adulthood. What you often see is the maturing process that takes place.
Spiritual immaturity is rampant.
People grow in their emotions beyond immaturity. People become mature physically. Most grow in their financial understanding toward fiscal maturity. Folks mature in their decision-making, their cultural tastes, and the way they view life in general.
What’s often missing, later in life, is spiritual maturity. We help people grow in every way possible except spiritually. That’s not always the case, but it’s certainly common.
Even the church seems to contribute to that deficit at times. We push things like Sunday School for children but think adults no longer need any type of spiritual formation. Imagine a financial advisor teaching someone to count money and pay bills but never counseling them about 401k plans or IRA contributions. Ridiculous!
It’s just as ridiculous to think adults can get by on some fable they learned when they were kids. It’s no wonder so many people think Jesus is a fairy tale. We just don’t take these things seriously. Maybe we should ALL go south for awhile.