And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Katherine Hepburn once said that her family’s motto was “Listen to the song of life.” To face obstacles with a peaceful and positive attitude is to listen to the song of Life. Life sings a beautiful song, but not every note displays consonance. There must be discord as well as congruence to make a song interesting. Dissonance resolves into consonance, that is the flow of Life. When we don’t dwell on the dissonance, but only see it as a passing nuance, then we see Life as God sings it, and it is beautiful, complete, inspiring, and fulfilling. But our focus is not always as refined as it could be.
Christ admonishes us to become like little children so that we can enter the Kingdom of God. In Mark 10 we are told, “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” Luke 18:17 restates that idea.
It wasn’t long ago that I spoke on the idea the inner child, a powerful psychological metaphor depicting the emotional residue of our childhood and our perspective as it is impacted by those old experiences. I believe the Inner Child concept is effective and has helped millions of people grapple with their past and help heal them from the wounds of the past.
Of course, the Inner Child concept as presented by Psychology is not Biblical, but that doesn’t mean it can’t help us. Antibiotics are not Biblical, but they can help us. Over the eons, as Children of God, we have learned much and have used the advances in all the sciences to bring us a healthier world, environment, body, mind, and spirit.
With that said, some people tend to look upon these advances that we have achieved as negative, or ungodly, and the Song of Life they hear is filled with dissonance and disharmony. And to be fair, quite possibly there is need for caution. To focus solely on the gifts and the techniques of humanity and ignore Spirit is unwise. Even within the spiritual realm, Paramahansa Yogananda, one of my favorite spiritual teachers, said that the gifts and spiritual results of Yoga can be a distraction from focusing on God. Our human minds are easily drawn to the wonders of Creation. But to focus exclusively on the Path, and not on the Creator of the Path, is to miss the point.
So, I want to add my twist regarding the gifts that humanity offers: all of the medical cures, techniques for success, discoveries in every arena of life, all the wonders of the Earth and Universe, all the marvels of the arts, and humanity itself … to focus on those things exclusively is missing the point. Behind every gasp of delight, there is a silent “Thank You, God,” that is yearning to escape from our hearts. Behind every good thing is the essence of Divinity. God is responsible for every human mind that discovers, dreams, and achieves. God is the Source of the hand that reaches out, builds and paints. God creates the mouths that sing and speak, the bodies that move, dance and serve. God has composed the elements from which humanity constructs the buildings and cities, which in turn, are based upon ideas that humanity chooses.
We are co-creators with God – of this world and of our lives. Co-Creators, in the respect that we choose what direction to take, and we can do that either with or without Divine input. God provides the pallet and paints and we choose the colors and design. We are co-creators with Spirit; we are co-creators with Christ. We are co-composers of the Song of Life.
Christ warns us to become like children. I propose that the Inner Child that we imagine seeing within us is nothing other than Christ calling us from a perspective that is uniquely geared to our spiritual receptors. Yes, the Inner Child is a metaphor, and at the same time the Inner Child is Christ communicating as our emotional and youthful past. What better way for us to become as children than by embracing Christ coming to us as the child that we were – the child that we are? That perfect Child of God projected from within to the human part of us.
Some of those projections may carry human blemishes. We can get beyond those flawed human attributes to the purity of the spiritual child by doing some simple things. If we uncover a past image from inside that brings discomfort, realize that the ‘dis-ease’ is a request for help and attention.
What kind of attention? That discomfited past image of our human youth is in desperate need to hear us say: "I love you; I hear you. You didn’t deserve your suffering. I am sorry. I forgive you. Thank you. You did your best with what you knew at the time. I appreciate you. I accept you, and approve of you."
Coincidentally, every Inner Child and every Outer Adult wants to hear these words in some form or another. As an adult male, I must confess that I would feel awkward if some stranger came up to me on the street and said any of those things. Culturally, that’s a little weird. But if those sentiments were sincerely uttered from a member of my family or group of friends that I trusted – they would be words of comfort. Our hurting Human Inner Child wants to hear those words from our Outer Adult.
Then from behind that hurting Inner Worldly Child, if we are open and inviting, we will hear other words from another child that looks identical but feels differently. This is the Child of God speaking to us. Instead of hurting, this child displays strength and health. This Child offers comfort, encouragement, peace, joy, and love to us. This child wants to share with us all the things that our hurting inner earthly child wants to hear from us.
This is what I see as the Song of Life: our spiritual nature singing wholeness into our broken earthly self. As we go through life, we are perceiving the world through either the perspective of the earthly inner child or our Inner Child of God. We are either seeing and hearing the Song of Life or the Song of Strife. Are we looking for, and listening to pain, anger, and darkness, or Joy, Light, Love, and Peace?
Listen for the Song of Life, Katherine Hepburn would advise. We can sing the Song of Life within our minds, hearts, and souls, and we can sing this song together. Psalm 66:1 implores us to “Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth.” It doesn’t say, “OK everyone, let’s get together and make a sorrowful wail and strident whine to God.” During our time of spiritual reflection, we can think about the song we want to sing and thank God for the people in our life who sing in splendid harmony with us.
To adapt a familiar saying, as we change how we sing the Song of Life, the Song of Life we sing changes. Rather than allowing the background noise of life to disturb our peace of mind, we can turn our focus within to the gentle song of Spirit that soothes our soul and fills us with peace and joy.
The sweet song of divine life resonates within our soul. It is a song of hope and love that whispers a message of encouragement, reassuring us that we are one with God and all God's creation. As we quietly attune to Spirit, we perceive the sweet Song of Life that is continually revealing the truth of who we are, a Child of God. We hear this song; we see it, we feel it, we know it, and we can finally realize: we are the Song of Life.