Thoughts Village Life

Experience-colored glasses

The oth­er night, Ariel and I were watch­ing Riv­er sleep. It was pret­ty enter­tain­ing, because he tends to dream often, and his face gets very ani­mat­ed with the emo­tions of the dreams. This par­tic­u­lar dream was hav­ing him go from laugh­ing to cry­ing.

Oh, he’s hav­ing a night­mare,” Ari said, stroking his head to calm him. “I won­der what about?”

Let’s think about this,” I teased. “It’s either ‘I’m out of milk!’ or ‘She just changed my dia­per and now she’s gonna have to again!’ That’s about it in his range of expe­ri­ence.”

We laughed about it, but it got me think­ing.

Have you ever thought about what it must be like to be a baby? Every­thing to Riv­er is com­plete­ly new; every sight, sound, smell, and sen­sa­tion. It must be exhil­a­rat­ing and exhaust­ing. It’s no won­der he sleeps so much. River’s lit­tle brain soaks up every lit­tle thing like a sponge; there’s no need to jet­ti­son old­er infor­ma­tion to make room for the new, or to find a way to fit it in to his preconceptions–he has no pre­con­cep­tions.

Think about what that would be like, to have no pre­con­cep­tions. It gives me a glimpse of the depth of what Jesus was mean­ing when he said,

Tru­ly I say to you, unless you are con­vert­ed and become like chil­dren, you will not enter the king­dom of heav­en. Who­ev­er then hum­bles him­self as this child, he is the great­est in the king­dom of heav­en.”

Matt 18:3–4 — NAS

I can see how much my experiences–the way I was brought up, the places I lived in, my friends, my choices–have made me who I am, and it’s easy for me to auto­mat­i­cal­ly pigeon­hole peo­ple into my ideas of the way they should act and think.

For instance, I get irri­tat­ed with anoth­er broth­er for not treat­ing his fam­i­ly well, but can I see that his child­hood was spent in a bro­ken fam­i­ly with no father?

Even though it’s entire­ly instinc­tu­al, I have to learn how to not judge through what I think should be ‘com­mon sense.’ I can’t look at peo­ple and the world through my expe­ri­ence-col­ored glass­es. Instead, I have to allow God to remove those glass­es, and look through the clar­i­ty of His vision, not my own.

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