Jul 25 2011
Put Me at the Kids' Table. Thanks.

When I was a kid, I thought adults were boring.  Man, was I right.

I mean it.  At least American adults are, most of us.  And if I bring it up, in adult conversation, the ensuing objections prove me right.

"But I jump out of helicopters onto icy mountain peaks and ski down on my bare hands and..." -- exactly.  No offense, but that's kinda what I mean.  Bored people are boring people, and we're so bored, as a culture, we have only the extreme or expensive to amuse us, get our attention, make us tune in, or feel something. 

Contrast that with a kid, at least of the non-jaded variety:  My wife sits down with a family friend, Keaton, who happens to be three, and shows him a book with a drawing of a pickle-truck. 

"WHOA.  Is that a PICKLE?  Is that a TRUCK?"

"It's a pickle-truck."

"WOW.  I have NEVER saw one of those.  PLEASE TELL ME ABOUT IT!"

"It looks like a pickle, and there are pickles in it."

"WHOA.  It has pickles IN it?  WHY WOULD A TRUCK HAVE PICKLES???"

It's a darn good question.  And when you're a kid, or you're child-like, you're full of good questions, because EVERYTHING is interesting.  And stuff doesn't get old very quickly.  Twirl me once, it's fun!  Twirl me a thousand and twelve more times?  It's STILL fun.  Again.  And again.  And again.  Do it again!

Silly?  I don't think so.  Or, at least, "silly" isn't so bad.  (Maybe interesting:  "Silly", taken from a German word, originally, in old English, meant simply "innocent".)  Twirl me a thousand times.  There must be something beautiful about repetition.  God didn't make one sunflower, He keeps making millions.  Over and over and over.  Again.  And again.  And every time, I suspect He's delighted.

So I get a big kick out of little, dumb stuff, and people say I'm easily amused.  And that sounds great to me.  Kids -- at least kids who aren't jaded -- are "easily amused".  It's the bored ones, acting like bored adults, who need the expensive new toy, or trip, to feel alive.  Adults will quickly tell you of their awesome vacation, or "extreme" experience, or fast vehicle to prove they're not boring. 

And, in our "adult" culture, if you show up on TV with a meat dress, they'll talk about you for a couple days.  Then you better come up with something else.  A fun kid just needs a little ball, and a wall, and the afternoon is set.

I'm with G.K. Chesterton, who delighted in everything.  As accomplished as he was, he would stop, in letters to his wife, and remark about how wonderfully "inky this ink is!"  The mere "inky-ness" was enough to make him happy.  Wonder is to be found in everything.  Is he the weird one?  I think everything is infused with meaning, everything is interesting, because God created it, and loves it.  And yes, I mean everything.  The whole cosmos.

Historian Jacques Barzun says as much in his magisterial From Dawn to Decadence, that we've reached the age of people stumbling from one planned adrenaline-jolt to the next, in search of a heartbeat.  We'll go to a movie, but, shoot, the very word "adult" means it better have some sex or some explosions, and usually, to try to wake us up, both.  That's what boring people need.

If that's adult -- and in this culture, it certainly is -- I'm with Chesterton.  

Sit us both at the kids' table.

Comments (12) -

7/25/2011 2:13:21 PM
Issa Brown United States
Issa Brown
I totally agree! My husband is so supportive and I'm so grateful that he supports my love and amazement of the "small things" in life. I told him while driving this past weekend that when I was little and even today when the clouds spill out from the horizon, almost the same shade as a purple, blue or grey sky, they look like giant mountains or Giants' forests in a far off distant. I still like to imagine what it would be like to swim through clouds. I still read children's books because they're so much more wholesome. We ought to take more time to make weed chains and sit on the couch upside down!
7/25/2011 3:34:35 PM
Diane K United States
Diane K
I still like to ride the shopping cart when I am done grocery shopping.  My 7 year old loves it, the older ones are mortified.
7/25/2011 5:45:31 PM
beth United States
amen to all the above!   Life is too, too short to miss the inummerable amazing things the Lord has GIFTED us each day!  You keep sitting at that kids' table...maybe some day it will be FULL!
7/25/2011 5:48:05 PM
Laurie United States
Matthew 18:3
And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 11:25

I totally agree.  I was at a nursing home this weekend & one of the nurses brought her young son in with her.  There was a big ball that he picked up & started bouncing to the residence.  Everyone came to life.  I thought how we as adults forget how to play!
7/25/2011 6:15:02 PM
Brent United States
Another quote my pastor read from G.K. Chesterton: "Kids are always saying "No do it again. Do it again." And the grown up person does it again until he is almost dead. For grown up people are not strong enough to exalt in monotony. For perhaps God is strong enough. Is it possible that God says every morning, "Do it again," to the sun, and every evening "Do it again." to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daises alike, it may be that God makes every daisy separately but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy. For we have sinned and grown old and our Father is younger than we."

You're right Brant...is there another seat at the kids table for me to join as well?
7/25/2011 7:42:30 PM
Susan United States
So true!!!  I'm not the only one Smile.  A child-like heart and spirit make every day so much more joyful.  People look and you and wonder what your problem is, and then upon further analysis start to want what you have....what makes you different....that Jesus has set you FREE!!!
7/26/2011 11:12:04 AM
beth United States
great insight you have, Brant.  i liked your topic on tipping yesterday too.  it's funny how people can be with their money.  some listeners mentioned tipping only what they felt their server had earned.  but how have we earned anything God has given us?  we haven't, but he gives to us freely, because he loves us.  If we excercise that same love to everyone around us - including the waitress, who is a daughter of God, and doing the best she can - we can work miracles through that love. we can give without judging - and you were right - there is an awesome sense of freedom in that.  Its an opportunity to serve & give without judging - for we are God's hands.
7/26/2011 12:30:37 PM
Andie United States
I totally agree Smile Before, i used to hate the idea of growing up because adults were boring to me too. Now, that im a teenager, its sad to see that some of my friends are starting to act like grown ups already. (They tell me im wierd becuase i can entertain myself with almost anything too). Despite what they might say, I'll always sit at the kid's table Smile
8/31/2011 11:36:07 AM
I liek what Brent commented you should check it out
9/26/2011 7:08:02 PM
TCarr United States
Hah, loved this post, especially the part about how God keeps making millions of sunflowers, not just one.
I'm always distracted by the amazing symmetry in the most awesome fern in my parents' backyard. I could stare at it forever. And fire. I could stare at that too.


And how much joy do you think God gets out of us enjoying what He made with childlike wonder? Smile God is so awesome!
3/20/2013 8:57:29 PM
Rebekah Z United States
Rebekah Z
WOW! I know I'm late reading this. But I feel like so much less of a weirdo! I turned 24 a month ago and this goes with so many of the thoughts it made me think.
For example: one of my dreams/goals... is to hear the stars sing. Did you know that the Bible says they sang when God created them/the earth. I didn't until recently. But I've always felt like they should sing.
Thanks for being you and thinking like this Smile
5/22/2013 4:17:08 PM
Ann Csergei United States
Ann Csergei
Brant, meeting you is on my bucket list (I'm 57, so we have time). Seriously, I think you and I are cut from the same mold. Extreme what? I love the kids' table.
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