My fingers moved among the dirt and weeds, separating green from brown, the wanted from the unwanted. Bits and pieces of broken conversation flowed from my mouth to the ears of the four-year old who crouched beside me, watching my hands work. The boy is my nephew, incredibly loved and incredibly smart.
“Is Nini old?” I asked him. I forget why exactly.
“Yes,” he said confidently.
“What about Nanny?”
“Yes,” again.
“Is God old?”
“No!” the boy shouted, triumphantly, giggling at my proposition.
I was struck in that instant, my heart threads pulled gently in a way I had not felt before.
God is not old.
Was it true?
At first, I laughed at his response. But my laugh merely covered my secret insecurity at the invasion this new thought, placed in there by a small child.
Heresy, my first defense was.
The angry Pharisees in the synagogues of my mind railed at the idea of such a foolish theology. The scribes all shouted and the people wondered.
It cannot be.
God is ancient, omnipresent, the Alpha and Omega, Beginning and the End.
He is not young.
But a still small voice kept pushing against the walls around my understanding, questioning their validity.
I was taken back to Eden, where I remembered that sin was the poison that began our aging. Sin made us adults, forget the joys of childhood, and worry and care about petty things.
God never did nor never will sin.
He never will experience the guilt or shame from sin that makes your mind ache and your spirit age a thousand years.
In Isaiah, the prophet proclaims the wonderful truth that God never gets weary or tired. Both getting weary and tired are prime symptoms of aging that everyone experiences eventually.
But God does not!
He is said to think of a thousand years as one day.
Only a child thinks like this. Time does not weary a child, nor does a child pay much attention to it.
I think God, outside of time, rarely pays much attention to it either. Not in a careless sense, but in an infinitely joyous sense, where he understands that time is subject to him, and therefore not of much consequence. Like a child, God does not care much about time.
In his book Orthodoxy, author G.K Chesterton writes of God never ceasing to delight in the sun rising every day. Another main side effect of adulthood is becoming bored with the monotonous. But to God, nothing is monotonous. Everything he does is as much a delight to him as it was the first time.
He never gets bored.
In the 38th chapter of Job, God describes to Job all of his activities as God, thus proving to Job that he not only is greater than Job but he also is still working in and among the earth in every daily activity. Does God clock in every day with the same disgruntled expression that most adults do at their 9-5? No!
Absolutely not. God is delighted to work every day. Like a child who never ceases to be amazed when the chickens all peck at the seeds his hands threw to the ground, God never ceases to be delighted with his daily activities. He feeds the birds, rescues the flowers from drought, and tends to the souls of those who cry out to him. Every day.
Jesus adored children. Being the perfect image of the Father, full of the Spirit, I think Jesus is the best example we have of God anywhere in scripture. And what did Jesus say about children? That if we wish to enter his Kingdom, we must become like them. He chided the disciples for looking down on them and acting like adults were more important to Jesus.
How many times do we try and become more “mature” in order to meet more of God? What if God is actually asking us the opposite?
Become like a child.
Then we will see him more clearly.
All the things that “matured” us. The experiences, the mistakes, the voices of accusation. The trials and temptations that shaped us, that formed our child’s spirits into grown ones.
What if the best thing is to undo it?
Not undo it in the sense that we undo all the good that the Lord has brought from those things, but that we undo all the growing up we’ve tried to do. We try and pray the right prayers to sound spiritual, we search every book to understand every single “why” instead of just trusting the Father and accepting his joy, we compare ourselves with every other believer instead of just enjoying the person God made us to be.
Can we stop growing up?
Can we stop this madness of trying to please God by knowing everything when he is simply pleased when we know him?
He is so young at heart, so young in spirit, so vibrant in expression.
He is the Ancient of Days, yet he never ages a day.
For to age would be to accept the curse of sin, and he has broken every curse through his bright and beautiful blood.
The only reason we get offended at the thought of God being young is because we have accepted the world’s ideology that ignorance is lesser than knowledge. We have accepted the world’s definition of mature as being full of experience and having a solemn attitude, instead of being full of joy and having a hopeful attitude, like a child.
I believe that the age of solemn Christianity is over. Does this mean we ignore sorrow and grief when it comes? No, it means that they do not rule over us and that we do not place realism on a pedestal. We were never meant to be realists anyway. We were meant to be imaginative, creative, hopeful; fleeing the darkness while joyfully pursing the light.
One of my favorite places to be is in a house of worship or prayer. One of the biggest reasons for this is to watch how quickly adults unfurl into little children in the presence of Daddy God. Grown men hug their knees as they worship their Creator, the words to the songs flowing loudly out of their untrained voices. Elderly women lay flat on the floor, drawing wildly in their journals or on scrap pieces of paper they found, desperately trying to articulate the incredible inspiration the Spirit of God just implanted in their hearts. Do they care how they look? Of course not. They are not adults here, they are just children in the arms fo their Father. They are safe, secure, hopeful.
They are children.
And yet they are never more the image of God.
Need I say it again?
God is not old.
While you and I are resting in our chairs, tired from a long day at work, frustrated with the million minute problems in our minds, God is racing through the celestial fields, scattering stars and throwing comets like pebbles across a pond as he goes. He shouts jovially, not worried for tomorrow, for tomorrow is already his.
Is he ignorant?
No, he is like a child.
And so we are called to be the same.

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