Oh, to be young again.
That’s something many of us older folks have thought about or even dreamed of—the excitement of seeing the world through eyes as yet untarnished by the disappointments that tend to make us cynical as age takes its toll.
What if we were able to find that delight in life again? How could we return to finding joy in the simple things that astonish little children?
Perhaps it starts with our perspective on what God has made. Earlier this month, we received a picture of our grandchildren showing off some special headgear their mother had made from flowers that grew in their yard. These, our granddaughter Charlotte said, were sunflowers! I recognized them as dandelions and would have called them weeds. Dandelions are not something I find delight in—but to Charlotte, they were beautiful.
What makes adults delight in some flowers and not others? It is all about our perspective. If we want to experience a child’s delight in life, could it be that we need to cultivate minds that are open to receiving beauty in all its forms? How delightful life would be if we could look through childlike eyes not yet been tarnished by the ongoing effects of humanity’s fall into sin! Ever since the fall, our hearts have been hardened in a way that prevents us from truly seeing God’s great creation.
I think this is what Jesus was referring to when he defended the children who were coming to him. In both Matthew 19 and Mark 10, Jesus found the children to be much closer to heaven than the wise or learned adults. If we fail to see the world through the eyes of a little child, what are we missing? Are we closing our eyes to the beauty God sees when he looks at the creation he has made?
If we are open to seeing the world through the eyes of a child, then we will not be darkened by the hate or prejudice so prevalent in the world today. We will be able to see the love God showers on all people. How many times have we failed to note the God-given redeeming qualities of our neighbor? Perhaps it’s time for us to see “sunflowers” instead of weeds when looking at others so we can love them as God loves us.
Imagine what joy can be ours if we reset our perspective so we can see the beauty all around us! Looking through eyes of love and not suspicion would be a good place to start. This can be quite a challenge. Our points of view have taken a long time to develop. I know I have room for improvement—I still try to keep dandelion “sunflowers” out of my yard. But if I really try, I might begin to see things in a new light. Seeing through the eyes of a child might be more like looking through God’s eyes than I ever thought.