Youth and Maturity

We watched the first part of the Ken Burns documentary on Hemingway. Burns and his team tell a powerful story. I don’t think they were being Freudian telling of his youth. But it is interesting. His mother treated him and his older sister as twins. Sometimes she dressed them as girls. Sometimes as boys. When he wrote, he was able to capture both the boy side of boys and the girl side of girls.

I saw a guy watching an action movie on his iPad once when I was traveling. The cars were speeding, jumping over barriers, crashing. Here is a guy vicariously reliving being four years old playing with cars. Sometimes we try to slip back into the joy of being young.

Pre-teen boys like to play pretending to be soldiers. Sometimes these older boys in their 20s or 30s even still like to dress up in camouflage clothing and pretend to be soldiers. Sometimes this is benign. Sometimes they become injurious to people and property. Maybe they missed the joy part.

Jesus once said that we must become like children to understand living in the kingdom of heaven. I’m not sure what he meant. But perhaps it was that unabashed joy of the child that we sometimes try to recapture as an adult.

Jesus also told us that only one commandment mattered–love. Loving God and our neighbor. This requires maturity beyond dressing up and pretending. Jesus condemned those who dressed up and pretended to be pious. He praised those who simply lived the life.

There’s the discipline of just quietly living the life of the spirit.

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