I stole this question. From this article in Relevant which was taken from Shauna Niequist’s book Bittersweet. It got me reminiscing about what it was like to be a Christian as a four year old, then a 14-year-old and how those pictures should look the same now, at age 24, and how they should be slightly—or drastically—different.
My faith at age four: I have vague memories of the classic thick, white, illustrated Bible that simplified the stories of Noah, Jesus and healing the blind man. God was my grandfather—a kind man who watched me from somewhere just outside the earth’s atmosphere, where Heaven was located. Prayers went to him in the form of smoke, and he inhaled it all from everybody. He didn’t sleep much.
My faith at 14: Thanks to a wise and encouraging youth minister, I began reading my Bible on my own time. I realized that being a preacher’s daughter did not ensure my knowledge of all things Biblical. A disheartening yet wonderful realization. But God didn’t really get my burning desire for popularity, acceptance and attention. And I hadn’t suffered much heartache or difficult loss, so I didn’t need him. I liked reading about Him though.
Two decades from first cracking the classic white Bible and some leftovers of my childhood faith are beginning to rot, begging for maturity:
Moreso than kind, God is sovereign. You can disagree, but that sovereignty does not always look kind on this earth. And God has everything to do with my burning desires for acceptance from people, attention and success, the grown-up word for popularity. I can’t want those and Him simultaneously. Something has to give.
A childlike faith is just as crucial as it is debilitating.
And a tree whose roots never spread below topsoil will easily sway then fall.