Grow Up!


In this excerpt from God's Blogs, Lanny Donoho imagines what God might say if He wrote a blog about childlike wonder.

I watch every day as millions of parents relate to their children in myriad ways. One of the reasons I AM so intrigued by those relationships is that I want so badly for you adults to get a better grasp on our relationship. That is, the one between Me and you.

You see, I AM your Father and you are My kids, and if you could grasp a bit better the picture of what being a parent should be like, then you’d enjoy being a parent more yourself.

Let Me give you a few examples. I watched a number of parents today say the same thing to their kids. It’s a phrase I’d like to erase from your heads.

In one instance a number of parents were in line with their children at a large amusement park. It was hot in Orlando, and most of the parents were sweating and close to their limit for the day. This particular line was for the Dumbo ride, and I could see inside the heads of many of the dads that this wasn’t going to be their favorite amusement of the day. One guy wearing a shirt that said “world’s greatest dad” was a bit afraid he might lose that title, along with his lunch, if the elephant went around too many times.

But it was the mom behind him who uttered the phrase I hear way too often. She was struggling with two little twin daughters while having stood in the hot line for about forty-five minutes too long. The twins had gotten their second wind and grabbed their mom’s hands and began to whirl around in circles spinning their mom into a frenzy.

They were making what were supposed to be elephant noises but sounded more like sounds you might hear from a cat if its tail were being run over. The exhausted mother had already spent most of her strength for the day, and what she had left vaporized as she spun helplessly out of control. Then came the phrase. “Girls! Grow up! Quit acting like children!”

Her volume was loud enough to attract the attention of all the other parents standing in lines for about forty yards around. Most of them understood, and many of them had used those exact phrases sometime on their vacations. I knew the mom was tired, but something in Me wanted to put a phrase into the heads of the seven-year-old twins. Had I done it, you might have heard them say something like this: “Okay, Mom, you’re right. Let’s blow this lousy carnival stand and go get a beer.”

Of course since I’M God, it wasn’t in My nature to make that happen.

But it is in My nature to help parents know that they don’t want their kids to grow up while they are still kids. Ifyou rush kids to grow up fast, then there will be no need for roller coasters or Ferris wheels. Imagine telling Mickey to take a hike because you have outlawed childhood. You would close down your amusement parks, and toy stores would go out of business.

What do you think it means to grow up? Do you quit running and playing? Is an adult someone who quits making elephant noises and forgets how to have fun? Do you become adults when you quit playing games and start wearing suits and ties?

How mature is it really to wear a coat when it’s ninety degrees outside or to tie something around your neck that cuts off the blood supply to your brain? Just to look proper? What is that? Kids need to be allowed to be kids. You need to encourage them to experience life and people and laughter without appointments, schedules, and deadlines.

In another part of the same country, I watched a man in his late sixties crawling around on the ground with a stick in his hand. He was trying to get a little kid to look at something in a crack on the sidewalk. The kid had been standing near his dad and three other adults doing his best not to fidget or whine during the extremely boring adult conversation.

Whatever this strange man on his knees was doing, the chances had to be pretty good that it held more excitement than standing in the adult world of conversation.

So he made his way over to see what this man was doing. A few of the adults stopped their conversation and watched. The older gentleman said to the kid “I want you to meet Herman. He’ll be out in a minute.”

The kid waited for a minute, and the other adults began to wonder about the sanity of the older guy but then went back to their conversation. Finally the older gentleman called out, “Quick, come here—he made it.” The kid ran back. The adults followed. An ant had come out of the sidewalk crack. The man introduced the boy to “Herman the wonder ant.” And they watched it play on the stick and crawl to another ant called Wanda.

They were delightfully entertained for a while with this tiny but wondrous part of My creation. The “older gentleman” obviously still had some“child” in him. He knew how to play and how to take the monotony out of life for a kid temporarily stuck in his dad’s business world. He also happened to be the president of the New Orleans chamber of commerce.

He had made it to adulthood without forgetting. Too many of you grew up too fast. And you got your definition of adulthood all messed up. You are parents now, and it’s easy to get exasperated with your children because in many ways your worlds are different. (Believe Me… I know.)

But remember…

Don’t let your kids grow up and forget that ants talk and children like to play… and no matter how old you get, you can still get down on your knees and introduce them to one another.

Excerpt from God's Blogs

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