A Child Within Us
It was an annual winter tradition. Every year we packed the children
into our family car and spent the day at "The North Pole at Pike's
Peak," a year-round Christmas resort not far away. And each year
they took turns on Santa's lap while we snapped pictures.
This wasn't any ordinary Santa, either. Maybe it was the real beard.
Or maybe it was the twinkle in his eye when he talked to the kids.
He came as close to the genuine Santa as anyone I can imagine. The
kindly old man worked as Santa Claus at the resort all year round
and, for our family at least, he was just about the real thing.
One year, after we finished with pictures, I said to him, "You must
really love children."
"Yes, I do," he said. "And adults, too. Many adults want to sit with
Santa for a picture!"
"Do you really have adults visit Santa?" I asked in amazement.
"Oh, yes," he replied. "As a matter of fact, one day 14 of the first
20 people who came to visit Santa were adults. All of us have a
child inside of us. It's a terrible thing when you lose that."
I think I know what he meant. Children are enthusiastic. They've not
forgotten how to have fun. And they still feel awe and wonder and
"It's a terrible thing when you lose that," he said. I don't think
he meant that we are to be childish and immature - just childlike.
There is a difference.
To be childlike is to be fun-loving and ready to get lost in the
present. To be childlike is to be more innocent and trusting.
Quicker to embrace life and love. To be childlike is to not yet be
jaded by the world or too cynical about people. Those who are
childlike laugh easily and often. They know there is plenty about
this universe they may not understand, and that is okay. In fact,
mystery is good. It fills them with awe.
My children eventually grew up and quit visiting Santa. A few years
later I learned that he passed away. As it turns out, even an
almost-real Santa doesn't live forever. I had the honor of speaking
at his funeral service and remembered him that day as a man who
always kept his childlike sense of enthusiasm, love and joy. He was
one of the youngest people I knew.
I only hope I'm that young when I'm that old.
~ Steve Goodier ~
[ by: Steve Goodier -- Copyright © 2010 -- from Steve Goodier (LifeSupport@yahoogroups.com) ]
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