The Truth We’ve Forgotten About the Meaning of Life
Children know something that we don’t. You can see it in their eyes. You can sense it in their smiles. You can hear it in their laughter. But as adults, we can no longer interpret it, this message that children are sending.
What is it they are telling us? What’s the secret?
Spend any time around kids, whether they are your own, or you’re teaching them, or whatever, and you learn a few things.
Children have no trouble expressing how they feel. They find joy in the simplest things. They see the beauty and wonder in the ordinary. They haven’t lost their desire to explore, their need to see and touch and taste and feel. Children trust. They forgive. They believe. That’s it, they just believe. They believe what you say. They believe you are good. They believe there is still something to explore, to learn. They believe there is something to be happy about – all the time.
But somewhere in the course of growing up those things seem to fade. The wonder, the excitement, the joy – all seem to diminish as we grow old. Why is that?
Perhaps it could be that we’ve “seen it all before”, that there’s nothing new under the sun. Perhaps it’s something more, something deeper.
Somewhere along the path toward adulthood we’ve been taught to be a certain way or to “behave”, or to “calm down.” Without realizing it, we are teaching children something. We teach them disappointment. We teach them to slowly question their fearless trust. Through it all, we’ve taught them something subtle, something under the surface that seeps into their hearts and minds and shapes how they see the world.
We see the result of it everywhere.
As we grow older, we wonder what the secret to life is. We invest our time and money into seminars, conferences, books, and resources to try to learn the meaning of life. We look for joy and happiness like a hunter looking for an elusive fox, always one step ahead of us and out of our reach.
The answer, though, is right in front of us. It’s found in the eyes of a child.
Have you ever found it interesting that throughout the gospels in the Bible, Jesus tells us to become like little children, to not hinder them, to not rebuke them? In fact, he tells us it’s so important that it’s the requirement for being part of His kingdom:
And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 18:3
Interesting isn’t it? Jesus doesn’t talk about saying a certain prayer, or following certain rules. He talks about becoming like a child. This puts a whole new spin on the idea of being “born again”. Maybe Jesus is simply telling us to start over – to go back to a time when we believed, loved, laughed, forgave, and trusted without inhibition; back to a time before religion, worry, pain, or fear ruled our hearts. You’ll find freedom and joy like never before.
So, this is just a reminder. Become like a child again. See the world with wonder again. Believe again. Forgive again. Trust again. Like Seth Dahl says in our conversation, be “born again”. Start over.
You’ll find the secret to happiness and to a life of meaning is not so far away, and not near as complicated as we’ve made it. It’s yours for the taking. Start by just asking Him.