My wife will turn to me from time to time and say simply, “You’re going to be a funny old man.” I’m still trying to figure out if it’s a compliment. For some reason, I doubt it. At least she’s saying it’s in the future, and I’m not already a funny old man.
There are times I wish I could turn the clock back and see the world through a younger set of eyes.
The world seen through the eyes of a child is chock full of adventure. When was the last time you went for a walk with someone under the age of five and didn’t try to control how they approach the world? If you are brave enough you can let them go and try to see through their eyes.
This is just a sample of what you might learn: Puddles in the middle of the street are not to be avoided. They are meant to be thoroughly enjoyed. Who cares if mud spatters up on your clothes? That just makes it better. Books are not just to be read. They can be airplanes if you are at the top of the stairs, or boats if you’re near a toilet. And who can sit on a sofa when it feels so much like a trampoline?
We are within a few short weeks of Christmas. As an adult, nearly a funny old man, I bemoan the way Christmas has been taken over by our consumerism. Even as I wrote that last line I felt like I was saying, “Bah humbug.” I’m sure my wife is on to something. In some ways I dread Christmas morning with all the boxes and presents and toys. Buried beneath all of that will be my Bible with a marker placed in the book of Luke.
But I wonder if I’m letting my eyes get old before their time. I wonder if the children in my living room are not experiencing something of the sheer joy of love expressed in a language they can understand. I give them a box filled with a toy, and they squeal with delight and run over to hug me. God gives me a manger filled with his Son, and I read the story then roll my eyes because someone has given a 3 year-old a drum set.
These weeks leading up to Christmas I’m going to try to see the world differently. I want to prepare myself to experience Christmas through the eyes of a child. We give gifts to express love in a language a child can understand. God did the same. This year I want to squeal with delight and throw my arms around God himself. If I don’t I will already have turned into that funny old man only my wife will be able to love.