Today I want to talk about 2 paradoxes. The first applies to everyday life, and then the second is connected, but is mainly about faith. The first is about driving. How do young people drive? Fast! And how do old people drive? Slow! But isn’t that backwards from the way it should be? Young people have their whole lives ahead of them, and should therefore drive slowly so as to protect their future. They shouldn’t want speed for fear of wrecking and losing their limitless futures. Right? And then, on the flip side, the elderly don’t have much time left, so they should have their orthopedic shoes pressing that gas pedal to the floor! What have they got to lose? Right? But in life it doesn’t work that way. When we have our whole lives ahead of us we’re fearless and drive fast. When we see our lives coming to a close we slow down and savor every minute.
And so then faith fits that paradox as well. Often times the most faithful people are children. That’s why God says “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven.”(Matthew 18:3) That’s why we love kids. Children just believe. They believe in Santa. They believe what grown-ups tell them. They believe in magical places and magical creatures. And if you tell them there’s a God that’s enough for them. I’ve often thought if I were a mean father I could have taught my children the opposite definitions of everything, and when they went to school they would have argued with their teachers at length that the teachers were wrong and their Daddy was right, because that’s what Daddy said and that was enough. The faith of children is strong.
But then the paradox is that the elderly should have stronger faith, but they usually do not. The elderly have been around the idea of God and Jesus and Heaven most of their lives, so it should be ingrained in them and they should be eager and ready to die at the end, but most seem to be avoiding that with expensive and painful medical procedures, and slow driving, and sitting around, and sleeping their days away. I know this doesn’t apply to everyone, but from what I’ve seen in a dozen different churches it seems to be the norm. So why can children jump into faith with both feet and older believers resist? I don’t know. It might be as simple as increased energy level for kids or lack thereof for seniors. I just hope I remember this blog when I’m near the end. Thanks for reading my 4th blog.