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All In

From Rev. Erik Buss, Assistant to the Pastor
January 13, 2020

We have been visiting family up in Toronto this weekend and I have been struck and touched yet again by how full-hearted children are. When we walk into the house, our grandchildren come running at us and throw themselves at us.
We grow out of that whole-heartedness, and we know we need to. We have to develop that rational side of us that can step away from our feelings because our feelings are not always very heavenly. And I see that in my grandchildren too. When they are in a good state they are such a picture of heaven, but their feelings, when they get the better of them, take over and nothing else matters. When I see them in that state, I become eager for them to grow up, even though I know I’ll miss the incredible sweetness.
Sadly, I recognize how my own feelings can take over, so I obviously need to continue the development of my rational side, just as they do. That is the work of adulthood, and it is good work. But sometimes I yearn for that all-in quality of childhood. Perhaps that is why we adults enjoy things like sports, music, and even computer games, that demand our full attention. In their small way, they give us a chance to be all-in for a time.
In the next life, the Lord brings us back to being all-in. We need to be all-in on goodness if we want to go to heaven, and all-in on selfishness if we choose hell. Our time in the world of spirits is about doing just that – uniting our internal and external self so completely that we act with our whole heart. Looking at my grandchildren, I am inspired to be more like them in dealing with others, though perhaps a bit more wisely than they can do.
While I would like to be more all-in about a lot of things, what I most treasure about being around my grandchildren is the way they give their hearts to others. When they hug you they wrap all their limbs around you; when they smile their spirit beams out of their eyes; when they show you their latest treasure they can hardly keep their bodies in place because they are so excited to share their joy. I want to share myself so completely with others. Or at least I want more of that kindness in our community and our world. Shall we try to do that a bit more?


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