Helping children of all ages find the path to eternal gladness

This week I got to do one of favorite things. I talked to small group of kids at our church’s AWANA program. 
 
I asked them a trick question. What do you want to be when you grow up? 
 
They responded quickly: Veterinarian. Soldier. Pilot. Destiny said she wants to be a missionary (because she wants to travel). One ambitious sweetie Sabrina said, “I want to be the founder of a highly successful bakery with multiple locations nationwide.” HHHHMMMM.
 
I pointed out that God created each of them and that with each of my kids I felt my job as a father was to help them discover what they do well and enjoy doing as a pointer to the kind of work they should do in life.
 
I thought of this today when I read C.S. Lewis from The Weight of Glory. “True personality lies ahead—how far ahead, for most of us, I dare not say. And the key to it does not lie in ourselves. It will not be attained by development from within outwards. It will come to us when we occupy those places in the structure of the eternal cosmos for which we were designed or invented. As a color first reveals its true quality when placed by an excellent artist in its pre-elected spot between certain others, as a spice reveals its true flavor when inserted just where and when a good cook wishes among the other ingredients, as the dog becomes really doggy only when he has taken his place in the household of man, so we shall then first be true persons when we have suffered ourselves to be fitted into our places.”
 
Finding your place in the expression of your unique God given talents is a key element in becoming fully human, authentic, what Lewis calls “true personality.” Frederick Buechner said your place of service is where your “deep gladness and the worlds deep hunger meets.”
 
I said I asked the kids a trick question. I asked what do you want to “BE” when you grow up and they all, like most of us would, answered with what they want to “DO” when they grow up.
 
My friend Nigel is fond of saying we are not human doings we are human beings. (Lately his fertile mind has added we are “human becomings.”)
 
I pointed out to the children, what I need to be reminded of myself. God is as interested, perhaps more interested, in the kind of person we ARE than in what we do. What do I want to be when I grow up? I want to be a good, honest and true person, kind compassionate, caring person, one who seeks to obey God’s commandments, loving God and neighbor as myself?
 
George MacDonald’s writings had a huge influence on C.S. Lewis and he said this about becoming the person he wanted to BE.
 
“I take comfort in my very badness. It is for lack of thee that I am bad. How close, how infinitely closer yet must I come to thee, ere I can pay one debt which mere humanity has on me set! “How close to thee!”–no wonder, soul, thou art glad! Oneness with him is the eternal gladness.”
 
I want to be good, and goodness comes from God and to become one with God, beginning now, is the path to eternal gladness.
 
What do you want to be when you grow up?
 

Posted in Staublog in April 27, 2012 by | 1 Comment »

One Response to Helping children of all ages find the path to eternal gladness

  1. ST042712 | Dick Staub on April 27, 2012 at 9:15 am

    […] I want to be good, and goodness comes from God, and to become one with God, beginning now, is the path to eternal gladness. Read More. […]

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