"What I'm about to tell you is true. Anyone who will not receive God's kingdom like a little child will never enter it." Luke 18:17 NIrV
|I fully expect Merlin and his owl to step out of this tree|
at any moment! Don't you?
In the beginning of the story, a nervous King Arthur finds himself at a loss to know how to do and say the right things to his bride-to-be, and he laments that his teacher, the wizard Merlin, isn't there to tell him what to do. He tells Guinevere that Merlin "is the wisest man alive--he'd know what to do! He lives backwards." She is understandably incredulous, wondering what he could possibly mean. Arthur explains further, "He doesn't age, he . . . youthens."
Only in Camelot, right?
Not so fast--maybe it's not only in Camelot that it's possible to live backwards.
There is another kingdom, a true Kingdom, with a King who delights in turning the ways of the world upside-down. Truth be told, it's the world that has things the wrong way up, but since we are so used to living here, we get turned around. In this great King's right-side-up, upside-down Kingdom, growing up moves backwards. Unlike here, where growing up means increasing independence on your way to maturity, in the upside-down Kingdom, growing up means depending less and less on yourself and abiding more and more in the King. In the upside-down Kingdom, the longer you mature, the more childlike you become! You could think of it as spiritual "youthening."
"Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ." Ephesians 4:15 NIV1984In the waning days of this year, it's time to reflect on whether I've shown any signs of "youthening" since last year, and to begin to prepare my heart to begin a new year of living backwards in the upside-down Kingdom.
Do you think you're aging, or youthening?
What childlike qualities do you think Jesus had in mind?