middot enthusiasm daily living as little children

as little children

Written by  rabbi benjamin ehrenfeld

art-kidwindowYoung children tend to be the most enthusiastic people…ever. With regards to energy, they are also quite well off. Whether the energy fuels the enthusiasm or vice-versa is hard to tell but one thing is for sure, the two are inseparable. A part of it has to do with the fact that life is significantly “newer” for children than adults.

With that said, children are also very excited by familiar stories, songs, games, etc. I cannot help but think this is a part of what Yeshua meant when he said we should come as children before God. The ability to experience life as new and still find joy in familiarity is a formula for enthusiasm.

Somewhere along the road as we begin to take on responsibilities and burdens. This is not at all bad, but the world in which we live also adds pressure, shame, guilt, competition, greed, etc. to the equation. All of the sudden, school stops being fun, work becomes stressful, and life becomes about winning or losing. That’s enough to choke the enthusiasm out of anyone, and unfortunately it often does.

The truth is the world was just as violent, difficult, and foreboding when we were children as it is now. By the same token the world is as interesting, exciting, and fun now as it was when we were children!  In God’s eyes, we never lost the permission to be excited by our favorite stories, baffled by the belly-button, or play as if we can slay dragons. In God’s eyes we are all still children, but children with the knowledge and awareness to make him better known in this world. We truly have the best of both worlds: the world of responsibility and excitement. Now that’s something to be enthusiastic about. May we all find that place in ourselves where we can be as enthusiastic about life as we were as little children.

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