There’s a kid in me!
Somewhere buried in the deep recesses of a journey with detours, potholes, pauses and do-overs…is a kid. That kid has lain dormant for years, but I’m determined to find him! I see him from time to time, have a brief conversation, get a fleeting glance and then he’s gone again.
Until the next visit.
The “visits” are more often now and I’m convinced they’re linked to the “come alive” portion of that favorite quote I may have mentioned to you before.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~Howard Thurman
Everyone has a kid in them. You remember that imaginary friend? Maybe that dirt pile or that fort in the backyard? Rolling down the grassy hill or sliding down a snowy drive on a box? You surely had a big wheel, a blankie, a toy soldier or doll. Remember those times you didn’t have a care in the world?
No matter what it is, you have a link to your way-back child. For me, I remember writing when I was a young boy. I would write about everything. I could definitely generate some doozies. I would get an assignment in school — and we’re talking second or third grade — and I would write and write and write. The assignment may be for a short essay, but I’d come back with a novel.
I couldn’t turn off the flow. The paragraphs and the stories just kept coming. I made up names of people and places, even drew pictures or scenes to illustrate the stories.
There’s a box in my garage that has a collection of oldies, but goodies. One is a story about Bobby the Raindrop. It was one of those, umm, short stories, written from the first-person perspective of a raindrop falling from the sky. Silly? Yes. A bit far-fetched? Absolutely. Realistic? In my mind, sure!
And I recently came across another story in that box. This one is about Yatfidyf, the family dog. Yes, made up name, also told from the first-person perspective of that little terrier that existed only in my head. I was a very creative writer in my youth. (On a side note, I got an “A” on both papers.)
Somewhere along the line though — as is the case with most of us — life happens. School teaches us boundaries, and we learn the “correct” cookie-cutter way to express ourselves. We become conformists who don’t roll down hills anymore, don’t take chances, don’t play in the dirt piles and certainly don’t talk to imaginary friends. In other words, we play within the bounds and rules drawn by the world. And, sadly, we don’t color outside the lines any more.
Imaginary friends, by the way, aren’t too implausible or bizarre apparently. Napoleon Hill, one of the greatest inspirational writers and speakers of the last century, regularly met with his imaginary Council that included the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Dale Carnegie, Henry Ford, Charles Darwin and Thomas Paine. Loopy, right? Apparently not.
In these “meetings” and, yes, conversations, Hill maintains he built character, learned some of his greatest life principles and came to understand life in ways he wouldn’t have otherwise. Weird? Perhaps. Unusual? To say the least. Effective and enlightening? Absolutely!
This child-like journey is found in scripture as well. In fact, Jesus says we won’t/can’t enter the Kingdom unless we become as children. There is a simpleness to faith. There is a freshness to viewing life through a child’s eyes. There is a vulnerability to becoming a kid again. You see things differently. You see things you’ve never seen before.
Have you tapped into your “kid” lately? What is it you did when you were four, five or six that you haven’t done since? You see more of yourself than you’ve ever seen before.
So go looking for that kid again! Make it a point this week to roll down a hill, go jump a ditch on your bike or have a Council meeting with a few imaginary friends. Sit in the middle of the floor and put a puzzle together, play with a toy fire engine or go outside and build a sand castle!
What silly, childish thing would you do this week if you knew no one would judge you, no one would make fun or laugh at you and it just might cause you to have the time of your life?
Start the journey and find the kid in you! It will make you come alive!