by Nikki Elliott
Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”
- Luke 5:26 (NIV)
You do not see too many children on campus, so I always love it when I spot little munchkins running around. Last week I saw a young boy who was excitedly charging full-speed toward the brightly lit Christmas tree on the O’Neill lawn. The boy was captivated by the tree—he gazed up with twinkles in both eyes and “ooh-ed” and “ahh-ed” at the sparkling lights. I heard him ask his Dad, “Where did they find a tree that big? How did they get it here? Dad, how did they get the lights all the way to the top branches?” I could not help but smile at his awe and curiosity. There was something magical about the whole scene outside Gasson Hall that I had not noticed in the days before. I was probably running off to a group project meeting or too worried about getting to class on time to let myself get caught up in the spectacle; but on this night, I allowed myself to see it through the eyes of that little boy, and it was wonderful.
As I continued on my way to Fulton, I thought about how my own enchantment of the Christmas season has changed since I was a child. While I am grateful for the gifts of reason and experience that come with age, I do miss the simpler times when I saw Christmas through childlike eyes, when I reveled in the real meaning of the season instead of wrestling with its complexities. But I do appreciate the gift of a grown-up faith, for a relationship with God and His creation that is more than just a grand spectacle. It is a kind of faith that is in many ways simple and beautiful and full of awe, but is in other ways challenging and real and messy. Through children, God reminds us that even as we grow up, it is never too late to rediscover the joy and mystery of the world and this one precious life we are given. So this Christmas, I pray that we may experience the best of both worlds. May we anticipate the coming of our Savior with a grown-up faith through childlike eyes.
Dear God, humble me in childlike wonder and awe as I grow in my faith in You. Help me to embrace the magnificence of Your world not just this Christmas season, but every day of my life. Amen.