Love for God

Being Childlike

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”   George Bernard Shaw

Happiness can clearly be seen in the eyes of a child.  We can strive to become childlike but not childish.  Happiness and a childlike view beget each other like the sky begets the wind.  Jesus says (and remember the kingdom of heaven is within us Luke 17:21): “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”   Jesus, Matthew 18:1

We can learn to play; to step out of our narrow box and fearlessly defy convention by singing, dancing and playing.

“Give in to the power of goofiness.  It lets the mind relax and catch its breath.  Only goofiness has the inherent power to keep seriousness from killing off all your ideas.  Ripples of laughter will wash up the brightest gems on the shore of your consciousness.”    - Dalton Roberts

Make a silly face at a friend.  Dance around the living room when you are alone and then do it when others are present.  Make faces at yourself in the mirror.  Run and slide on the slick tile floor in your socks.  Answer the phone with, “Sam’s Mule Barn” or something similar.  Act like a bird and flap your wings (arms) as you go around a corner inside or outside of the house – try to do this artfully like ballet and get into it.

“To be more childlike, you don't have to give up being an adult. The fully integrated person is capable of being both an adult and a child simultaneously. Recapture the childlike feelings of wide-eyed excitement, deep spontaneous appreciation, cutting loose, and being full of awe and wonder at this magnificent universe.”   – Wayne Dyer

Throw that bit of trash at the trash can from ten feet out and try to hit the trash can opening. With your finger write “God is love” in the dust on your car or draw a picture.  When walking on a section of tile or stone flooring, make a prayer that if you do not step on a crack, the world will be filled with peace.  If one encounters a log, a board or a raised bit of concrete curbing, walk the length of it without falling off.  Jump on the back of the grocery cart in the grocery store parking lot and ride it all the way to your car – go as fast as you can.  Fly a kite.  Keep a cheap laser pointer on your nightstand by the bed and when you turn the lights out, make patterns on the ceiling – also use the pointer to play with your cat.  Buy a clown nose on the internet and wear it the next time friends or family come over (you can take it off after the initial greeting).  Play in your food - for example, stack a few green beans in a crisscross fashion and pretend they are logs.  Wear a zany hat. 

Amma has this to say:

"As we get older, we lose all enthusiasm and joy. We become dry and unhappy. Why? Because we lose our faith and innocence. It is good for you to spend some time with children. They will teach you to believe, to love and to play. Children will help you smile from your heart and to have that look of wonderment in your eyes.

“There is a child within everyone. The innocence and the playfulness of a child exists in all human beings. People of all ages like children's stories and while hearing or reading them the child within is invoked. Who does not like to play with children now and then? Watch a ninety-year-old man, look at a politician or a government administrator, a business executive or a scientist; all will become playful and free when they are around a child. When he is with his grandchildren or his youngest child, even an old man becomes a child. Crawling on all fours, he pretends he is an elephant. He makes a castle out of playing cards for them. Using sticks and leaves, he builds a play house for the little ones. Bouncing the children on his knee, he tells them that he is a horse.

"Why does he do all this? Is it simply to please the child, to make him or her happy? No. That is not the only reason. It is because in each of us a child is hidden. Somewhere in each one of us, a child's joy, innocence, and faith lie dormant. We delight in searching for the child within. When we were children, we had no worries or problems; recalling these days with love, we want to return to them. This desire is felt by all living beings.

"Children, the wonder and the love that you felt as a child will never return unless you can again play like a child. Innocence is within you, hidden deep inside. You have to rediscover it. And for this to happen, you must go deeper and deeper into your spiritual practices. When you can dive deep into your own consciousness, you will realize this innocence one day. At that moment, you will discover the child within you. You will experience the innocence, the joy and the wonder that were hidden inside of you, and you will realize they were always there. You merely forgot your innocence for some time. It is as if you suddenly remember something after having forgotten about it for a very long time. That childlike innocence deep within you is God.”   Amma, Awaken Children, vol. 7

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