“The life of man becomes an unbroken chain of movements dictated by his anxious desire for assurances” – Karl Barth
“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things” – Morrie Schwartz
I spent the last half a week in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia visiting a House of Prayer and a Church.
I am still trying to figure out the people I saw and met there. Typical me.
When I met these people, I could only describe what I saw/felt as a purity and a simplicity that was incredibly beautiful. I want it. I want what they have!
I feel as if most westerners walk around with great weights on our shoulders. You can see it on people’s faces and in the way they stand. There are a great many concerns weighing the modern man down. Children in the west generally don’t have these concerns and so they seem to have the same sort of purity.
“The Western world is healthy, powerful, and educated. We are blessed with enormous conveniences and luxuries, the abundance of every conceivable good. But we have lost the freedom to enjoy any of it. We are so anxious and frantic, so busy trying to find ourselves and our purpose, we look over and beyond our true glory and never even see it, let alone enjoy it.” – Baxter Kruger
There were varying degrees of what I could perhaps call a weightlessness about them. The women and the children in this context were more ‘weightless’ but I seemed to sense some ‘weight’ on the young men.
But when you see them worship God. Oh wow, this purity stands out. There is a singleness of devotion, and uninhibited expression. There is a freedom, and a degree of focus that puts our busy and distracted and heavy western minds to shame.
I wonder if it is a sense of responsibility that causes this weight. And I’m wondering if the more you own, the larger the size of your bank account, the more you have to be responsible for and care about.
But I’m also wondering if the ‘kingdom person’ (a person living in the fullness of the realities of the word of God) could live with this weightlessness and purity in a seeming paradox of mindsets. That is, he could have the “weight of the world on his shoulders” so to speak because of his responsibilities (pastoring/ministry and company/business activities or ventures), and yet have a purity and a freedom that comes from knowing the responsibility for all things lies in the hands of one infinitely more wise and powerful and ‘for him’, than he could ever be.
Perhaps here-in lies the meaning and beauty and power of Jesus’ statement that we must receive the kingdom like little children.