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.