We would do well to act more like children

Published 7:17 pm Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas is very different as a grown up and even sometimes a little depressing. The magic of the holiday wore off for me as a grown up. What was once a holiday that wouldn’t let me sleep at night after I tracked Santa headed to the Southeast on NORAD is now a pain, because standing in line at Walmart is a lot like standing in line at the DMV. Children are crying in the store, I’m broke and a long drive to see family looms ahead.

As a child of the 90s, I knew the sleigh bell from Santa’s sleigh wouldn’t ring in my ear anymore if I didn’t believe in Santa. I would check every year to make sure that I truly believed by keeping the bell under my pillow at night (thank you Polar Express.)

But this year something happened that beckoned my heart to grow a few sizes and I swear I could hear that sleigh bell ringing faintly in the distance.

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At the Times-Journal we had to type up hundreds of letters to Santa from area children and publish them in the paper so that Santa would know what to bring when he came over the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

I laughed at the ridiculous and elaborate things children asked Santa for and it made me remember a time when I was just like that, a time when my heart believed in the magic of Disney, Santa and his reindeer and I believed that the Lord could perform miracles right in front of my eyes. I still believe in the latter, but as an adult our hearts are somewhat hardened to the world. We believe that God is the center of our universe and that he created all things, but we doubt what holes he can fill and that he is control of our problems and our politics.

One little letter meant more than all of the iPad requests I saw. “All I want for Christmas is my mom to get better because she is sick. That is all I want for Christmas. Santa I hope I am not on your naughty list, I am a very good little boy. If my mom feels better I will tell everyone that you are real because I believe in you,” the letter from a third grader read.

In Luke 18:15 Jesus said to his disciples, “Let the children come to me,” and said unless we accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, we will never get in.

Maybe I’m just 22-years-old and missing childhood, or maybe I realize that returning our hearts to the heart of a child is the best way to understand the heart of our Savior who once lay in a manger. Think of all the smiling children around the world and their quickness to believe in the good of the world. Hopefully we can mimic that.