12-30-2005, 05:39 PM #1
God and a Child. The mind, meaning, and wonder.
This intuitive belief is found in children all over the world. I was sent an e-mail about an eight-year-old boy from Chula Vista, California, who was given a stretching homework assignment, a challenge beyond the reach of the greatest minds. He was asked to explain God! This is what he wrote:
"One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn't make grown ups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn't have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk, he can just leave that to mothers and fathers. God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times besides bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or T.V. because of this. Because he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off?. God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere, which keeps him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting his time by going over your mom and dad's head asking for things they said you couldn't have?. If you don't believe in God you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you like to camp, but God can. It is good to know he's around you when you're scared in the dark or when you can't swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids. But you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you.
I figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases. And that's why I believe in God." 4
Anthropologists have discovered this sort of thinking in children everywhere, even in places where the religious culture teaches something different.
Beyond Reasonable Doubt
2004 - Spring/Summer
We have been discussing the search for meaning, so one can't help but quote William Shakespeare. Said he,
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts
So go the lines of As You Like It, in which Shakespeare presents seven stages of life's script. At each stage meaning is pursued, attained, and sometimes lost. Think with me today about one stage, the passage of childhood.
G. K. Chesterton proclaimed unabashedly that he learned more about life by observing children than he ever did by reflecting upon the writings of philosophers. If you think about it, there is something so enthralling in watching a young life engaging a world new to her. But what is it about a child that fascinates us? Or more to the point, what is it that fascinates a child? The answer to both questions is the same: Is it not that sense of wonder that pervades much of what the child sees and touches?
A young child has the capacity for rapture with the simple—being absorbed by things the adult mind often considers commonplace. Imagine a world without such fascination. Is it any wonder why we call undiluted excitement "child-like"?
It would be very easy to say, "Ah! But you are not going to take a child's view for such a serious subject. Is this not far too naïve a way to satisfy a search for meaning?" It is true, exhilaration alone is not sufficient to find lasting fulfillment. Yet undeniably, wonder plays a role in satisfying our hunger for meaning. What I am arguing is that for a child, meaning is gained by her recognition of the awe-inspiring reality that surrounds her life.
H. L. Mencken said, "The problem with life is not that it's a tragedy, but that it's a bore." But a child who is filled with wonder is also filled with a sense of enchantment, a sense of significance, of meaning. When wonder ceases, boredom and emptiness set in.
May I suggest to you that, in this instance, the child has it right? Consider the possibility that God has really made this world beautiful and awe-inspiring. The importance of wonderment is something I will sustain tomorrow. But I leave you with this first component of meaning: Wonder, an essential facet of our search for meaning.
The Romance Of Enchantment
A child's life has not been heavily influenced by the world. A child is humble, does not get tired of the repetitive, full of wonder, love, a child is vulnerable, the list goes on.
I think of Christ when I think of children, Christ said ""Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me,
And anyone who welcomes me doesn't welcome only me but also the One who sent me."
Then he took the children in his arms. He put his hands on them and blessed them.
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, don't keep then away,
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to people like them."
Some people did accept him. They believed in his name.
He gave them the right to become children of God.
Unfortunitly, many of these qualities begin to die as the world wraps its finite hands around them. This is especially true in the west. Could this be why the existenialist "Jean Paul Sartre" abandoned his philosophy as deaths door grew larger?
Bertrand Russell, the famed British atheist, wrote in his essay, "A Free Man's Worship," "Only within the scaffolding of these truths [time + matter + chance], only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul's habitation henceforth be safely built."
Last edited by boots555; 12-30-2005 at 09:46 PM.
12-30-2005, 05:43 PM #2
Bertrand Russell's statement is frightening.
12-31-2005, 12:00 AM #3
How nice of you to post the religious spam from Joe Boot, who is the executive director of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Canada.
It would be one thing if he posted his own thoughts, but it's quite another for someone to do it for him. Doesn't do much to further edifying discussion . . . it's just more mind-numbing dogma, particularly since he's not gonna be around to defend his points (if he has any) . . .
12-31-2005, 06:39 PM #4Originally Posted by Tock
I agree with Joe boot, tock.
Your comment is silly.
01-02-2006, 06:55 PM #5
Wonder undergirded by truth is a key element to meaning.
01-02-2006, 10:53 PM #6Originally Posted by boots555
01-03-2006, 01:35 AM #7Originally Posted by Tock
Tock, what brings you meaning?
01-03-2006, 11:13 PM #8Originally Posted by boots555
01-05-2006, 08:34 PM #9
Thats not the question.
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