Learn - My Inner Child Has Bad Taste  

Learn – My Inner Child Has Bad Taste

Matt 18:3-5
Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. NASU

Most adults have forgotten how to play. Oh sure, we know how to play sophisticated board games and love to watch or play sports but the real kind of play – where we whirl and twirl, jump on trampolines, pretend to fly, and have pillow fights – most adults have just forgotten how. The Bible says that unless we become like children, we will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Part of my own spiritual journey has included learning to play.

In my 30’s, people kept telling me to lighten up. One day, I asked my mentor what they meant. She said, “You are so serious. Read a novel instead of a self-help or religious book. Learn to play.”

“I know how to play,” I said defensively.

“When do you play?” she asked.

“I play Trivial Pursuit,” I answered. The actual truth of that statement is that when my family plays, I try to be a good sport and sit there. I never get any answers so I’m not really playing.

“Cheryle,” she said. “You’ve forgotten how to have fun. Pick a fun child and follow him or her around. Do everything they do.”

Then four-year-old nephew Jim was the chosen one. I sat him down and told him I’d forgotten how to play. “Will you teach me how?” I asked.

“Sure,” he said. “It’s easy.”

For the next several years, Jim planned play dates with me. We went to indoor playgrounds and crawled around in balls. We went to toy stores and touched everything. My first toy as an adult was a tiny helicopter that flew and had a launch pad. Jim was happy to help me play with it. I rode rides at Disney I’d forgotten about. I learned how to balance and walk on curbs. I relearned how to skip and discovered the joy of trying to fly. I discovered that kitchen mitts could substitute as puppets. Now, 16 years later, no one doubts the existence of my inner child. They worry more about making it behave.

Bill and I were walking through shops in Bar Harbor, Maine and I stopped to look at a flowered, flowing, spaghetti strapped smock top. “Bill,” I said. “There is this mood I get in. It is a wonderful mood. You know the one – I start blowing bubbles. Anyway, when I get in that mood, I buy clothes that when I get home, I wonder what I was thinking. When I wear them anyway, my kids make fun of me.”

Bill didn’t say anything and we continued shopping. As we walked, Bill and I talked with children, touched things in stores, visited a toy store, snapped pictures, teased each other, and I even talked Bill into sitting in the lap of a giant lobster. (see photo gallery – Maine – Bar Harbor – 07.) It was a wonderful afternoon.

I started to walk into a store and Bill said, “Aunt Cheryle, that is a hippie shop.” The title of the store included the word hemp in it.

“Bill,” I said. “I grew up in the sixties. My style is back in style. Besides, maybe they need to hear about Jesus.”

Bill begrudgingly walked in with me and I started looking at the long gathered skirts and the scoop necked handkerchief blouses. When I picked up a paisley cape, Bill said, “Aunt Cheryle, I don’t think you should let your inner child shop for you.”

Suddenly, I understood. He was right. My inner child could play and have fun but if I really wanted to wear the clothes I buy, I should probably let my adult do the shopping.

Jesus said His spirit is gentle and humble in heart. The definition I use for humility is to be teachable. Children are like sponges and want to learn everything. We are to humble ourselves like a child and learn from our teacher, Jesus.


Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. For more information or to schedule a speaker for an event, go to www.pocketfullofchange.org or call Cheryle Touchton at 904-614-3585.

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