Can’t you see that I’m the one who’ll never leave you
Been here all along / Why can’t you see
That you belong with me
I think the thing I am most excited to learn from my daughter is childlike faith. My own faithwalk always seems to be too heavily salted with an awareness of reality and the need for a back-up plan, should God not come through. My emergency kit. My hand is always warily poised over the panic button, though never once in my life have I needed to use it.
Our new little daughter won’t have any knowledge of the risks. She won’t be born with a fear of disappointment or failure. Her only two innate fears will be those of falling and loud noises. Everything else she will assimilate as she grows. So when we train her to know that Papa loves her, provides for her, and that she should believe with all of her heart, she will. She will have no concept of naïve foolishness or mature reason. She will, purely and flawlessly, just believe.
I want to watch her and learn this from her. I would have been that way at one point. At some time in my life, I would have embarked on an adventure with God without the foghorns of balanced risk blaring in my head. I would have been the little girl with wide eyes, hair in a shiny ponytail, sticking my sticky, chubby hand in Papa’s big one and trusting him completely to lead me to a brand new place. I didn’t need to have all the details worked out before I got there—I could just giggle at the adventure and know that when we got there, He’d be with me. When I got tired, he’d carry me. When I got hungry, he’d feed me. When I was afraid, he’d be there to make me brave.
And He trains us up for an independence of sorts, but I think this is where we get off track. For humanity, training their children to be independent means a strong dose of awareness of all of the potential dangers, risks, foolishnesses and other traps. It’s more of an awareness of the bad than of the good. It’s not a growing wisdom, it’s a prepackaged set of concrete self-preservation techniques, so that in our independence, we do not have to rely on anything, including God. We find great pride in the fallacy that we are self-preserved.
Instead, shouldn’t the launchpad of youth take us to a place where we come to a growing understanding of the unlimited nature of Papa’s grace and provision? A wide, unconditional experience that we are sons and joint heirs…that His power and wisdom have been made active in us and to come into an active exercise of it?
Shouldn't all our training for Plan B (safe, low risk, anti-bacterial, back-up plan, stay, be careful), be eradicated in a solitary pursuit for the liberty found when your only structure is built by the one who created you? When your only script, your own self definition, is found in the Person who sources you? Wouldn’t it be true personal freedom to do as Jesus did—to do only what you see your Papa doing? Not bound by fear, low resources, lack of wisdom, or a shattered identity—but instead empowered and in absolute peace that you were perfectly designed and meant to walk in the center of His favor? That you ARE worthy? You cannot simultaneously be created in God's image and of low value.
It is then, when your Spirit is fueled by this intense interaction with your Papa, that you can literally throw the “is it God’s will” question out the window. Instead it becomes “Papa, I know this is where I’m meant to go—you gotta come with me.” Stale and confused is instantly transformed into fresh and clear and on fire. No wonder so many of us wake up in the morning and have no vision for the day beyond survival. We forget that our sole purpose—our only design—is to be about what we were born to do—to bring His Kingdom to earth and represent Him. Not in a false religious façade of lies, carefully-formed personas, and smoke screens, but in a humble, honest, real pursuit and awareness that the living God is fascinating, hilarious, trustworthy, full of love and dangerous. It’s our own fault that we follow human maps to find him and then either can’t find him, or we find versions so boring or invalid that we run the other way in sheer disgust.
Papa said, If you seek me, you will find me, if you seek me with all of your heart. What is in you? What raw ore is buried deep within, like the Buddha built of pure gold but covered up by plaster. Here’s a tip—your real purpose, one that unleashes your destiny and God’s beautiful design in you, is absolutely not found anywhere in the safe walls of Plan B. God is calling you out, pulling you higher, into freedom and true effectiveness. Stop waiting for Heaven to get here and get busy bringing heaven to earth. You cannot be both representative of the God of the universe, and a spectator as the world sends up its groaning reports. You are either playing your purpose—or you are a liability. We, the body, were created to need your contributions. We are truly effective when we are completed by you. We need you.
So this morning, as I wake up and realized the first thoughts on my mind were the lyrics of a song by Taylor Swift (see above), of a lover who wanted so much to be trusted and identified, I realized that it’s Friday, January 15th—and it was created with a purpose in it. To waste it in all of my assumed humanity, to fear, to set about myself backup plans and bomb shelters, would be a pity. I’ll never need them. Instead, the cry foams up from my Spirit. I’m peeling the adult rash off of my faith. It’s time to revert back to childhood.
In three months or less, a little girl will be here who will watch Nick and I. She will see everything. I want to be childlike again for her, so that all that she learns is power, faith, trust, and absolute belief. She will be my teacher. When she puts her chubby little hand in her daddy’s, she will look at him as though he hung the moon for her. And I will learn.