I love the sports writer Mitch Albom. Many people know him more from his books, Tuesdays with Morrie, The Five People you Meet in Heaven or Have a Little Faith. His books are great. They are not only captivating and good reading, they are loaded with meaning and deep insights.
In Tuesdays with Morrie, Albom recounts these words of his ageing friend:
“The truth is, part of me is every age. I’m a three-year-old, I’m a five-year-old, I’m a thirty-seven-year-old, I’m a fifty-year-old. I’ve been through all of them, and I know what it’s like. I delight in being a child when it’s appropriate to be a child. I delight in being a wise old man when it’s appropriate to be a wise old man. Think of all I can be! I am every age, up to my own.” – Morrie Schwartz
I was engrossed and mesmerized by this notion. I am a middle-aged man. That means that part of me is every age up to middle age. The question is; Can I remember that I times I can be a five-year old and at times I can be a twenty year old and at times I can be a forty-one year old? The key in here is the statement, ‘Think of all I CAN be.’ I am absolutely enthralled by the possibilities here. We might all be guilty of missing the possibilities and the opportunities that come with thinking of what we can be. Dangerously we find ourselves paralysed by the wealth of what we have become and forget the richness of what we can be if we merely embrace the bounty of what we have been.
I wonder if this is what Jesus meant when he said that those who want to enter the kingdom must embrace the attitude and approach of a child. There is much to ponder here. Each day we might need to tap into our seven-year old self. Perhaps in so doing we might better identify with other seven-year old pilgrims on this spiritual journey. Aside from that, how great it feels when I lay aside the restrictive inhibitions of the forty-one year old to embrace the excitement of a seven-year old. You know what I am talking about. We love those moments when we forget ourselves and just get excited about something because we can. Those moments of mirth and mania that come over us when we get in touch with the youngster in us are golden. We go back to that place that we are able to embrace a spontaneity that allows us make decisions without over working everything and over thinking everything.
Morrie had it right. There is so much that we can be – if we can thaw from the deep freeze of what we have become.