My dear friends...
A few days ago I found myself in an airport.
There were a few of us in our traveling party, and at the airport we were talking about age...and how fast the years go by. It all came up because there was a perfectly adorable little girl in line in front of us -- she couldn't have been more than two-and-a-half or three -- and everybody in the area was totally, completely, and utterly charmed by her. There were smiles all around as she went about the business of being a free and beautiful child of God.
I wondered, why can't we all be like that? Why can't we all be free children of God -- and act like it -- all during the day? Well, of course, we can. The question is, 'why don't we?' I think that we're afraid. We're afraid of what people might think, and we may be even more afraid of what we might do.
Ever think about that? How would you behave if you thought you could get away with anything, if you thought you would get a "pass" from everyone around you because you were just so innocent and so cute? What is "innocence," anyway? And what is "cuteness"?
A wonderful teacher of mine, Terry Cole-Whittaker, used to invite us to ask ourselves questions like this: "What would you do if you thought you would never get caught?" She would stand up in front of her huge audiences and just chuckle. It's an interesting question. Here's another one: How much of what we do and "how we are" is put in place by us in order not to raise the ire of others, or in order to be approved of? How much of it is really "you" and how much of it is "the You you think you have to be in order to be invited to stay in the room"?
I'm not talking about obvious behaviors here, like don't kill people, or don't steal the silverware. I'm talking about some of the not-so-obvious stuff. You know the kinds of things I'm talking about. It's some of the stuff that you have already done. The stuff that you've never told anyone about. Would you do those things again? If no, why not? You didn't get caught the first time, so what's the problem?
Something else came up for me as we all watched that darling little girl at the airport. It was my first thought, as I said before. It was how fast time flies. Looking at her I caught myself saying to my traveling companions, "Oh, my, to have so much life still in front of you..."
Then someone else in our party said, "The problem is, we don't appreciate it until we get to our age, until we get two-thirds of the way through life. Then -- maybe -- we begin to have a real appreciation for the gift of Time; for the moments and the hours and the days and the weeks and the months and years that we have left."
And I added in my mind that maybe, just maybe, we then embrace a new determination to use every one of those hours, days, weeks, and months wisely; to not waste a single one of them; to not miss a single chance to pull all there is, to grab out of every moment; to not let a second go by into which we do not put all we have to give, to contribute to the space of life everything that our heart is bursting to express and yearning to share.
It changed the way I went through the rest of that afternoon. And now I can say that I'm looking at every passing moment and adding the best and the finest that is within me to that passing unit of time, because I want to experience myself as the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever I held about Who I Am. I don't want to "waste" time being less. I owe Life more than that. I want to give God back just a little of what God gave me.
Of course, we "owe" God nothing, and we owe Life nothing. But I like to play a certain way. I like to do what I can to make sure that every exchange of energy is equal. Conversations with God says: "All true benefits are mutual." Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross -- whom I was privileged to know and to call a friend -- used to say that, and when I was bringing through my book, I am sure that I got that awareness "from God" through my memory of her.
Life has given me so much. And so I want to give back. Whether I have to or not. I don't think it's a requirement, but I do think it's an invitation. It's a wonderful invitation from Life. It's a request, not a demand. Life asks us to give something back of what we have received, so that Life can go on. And so that It can go on in a particular way -- more than it was before.
"Of those to whom much is given," John F. Kennedy famously said, "much is asked." I like that. I like that idea. I like to think that what I am giving back is being given to those who follow us. To our children, and our children's children.
To that darling little girl in the airport.
She really inspired me. She made me look at life in a new way -- or an old way, revisited, actually. She brought me back to myself. She gave me back to myself, by simply being Who She Is. And I learned something from that. I remembered something. I remembered to act as if I was a little child wherever I go.
Just what does that mean? That means giving in to my childlike sense of fun and excitement and adventure and the magic of life. That means returning to wonder. And that means being willing to bring joy to others, by simply being. By surrendering to the very special person I am when I am giving myself permission to "show up" authentically, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and eager for Life to flow through me!
© 2019 ReCreation Foundation - http://www.cwg.org - Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. His With God series of books has been translated into 27 languages, touching millions of lives and inspiring important changes in their day-to-day lives.