There's such a freedom about children.
Today I watched a young friend of mine go galloping by on a "horse" she had found; it was, of course, a stick, although it had a clearly recognizable head, with two ears.
It is quite obvious that she adores horses, and no doubt would very much like to have a real one to ride back and forth to the sandbox, instead of a stick. There's not much comparison between the warm, breathing body of an Appaloosa and the gnarled rigidity of a discarded apple branch.
However - and this, to me, is the mystery - she matter-of-factly recognizes the unreality of experiencing "the real thing," and with hardly a second thought accepts what would seem to any reasonable grown-up a sad substitution.
Children possess a much more robust imagination than we do: we're too busy insisting on reality. (It's a stick, honey!) But I'm compelled to ask myself: who's got the better end of the stick, anyway?
I think about how frequently the things I don't have start to weasel under my skin and rumple up my contentment. Somehow I've worked myself up into thinking that it's more respectable to pout than pretend - (not that you necessarily must choose). Merely having no stomach for pretending is no license to pout - not when you can pray instead.
The Lord's encouragement is to be like a child, to walk in peace, to put a little spring in my step.
And maybe even find a toy horse to ride around.
Image courtesy of Rob Gonsalves