Everyone probably has particular things that evoke deep feelings, longings and memories from childhood. It often shows up in the most unexpected places: a smell, a flavor, a sound, a place.
I recently stumbled across a video clip from The Great Chipmunk Adventure, a feature-length animated film from the late 80s. (It’s a surprisingly well-done movie! It was actually done by a number of recently laid-off Disney animators.) It was one of those movies that I remember watching over and over as a child.
Anyway, I’ve posted the video below. I don’t post it because I think you’re particularly interested in the Chipmunks. I just recognized that this song portrays the world in a grand, exciting sort of way. The world—through the eyes of this movie and through my eyes as a child—is an inviting, expansive, exotic place to explore. At every turn, there is a new culture, a new adventure and a new experience. It was a seemingly endless world full of creativity, beauty and wonder.
Sadly, I don’t view the world this way anymore. The tragedy of growing up.
Years of living in the practical adult world of efficiency and practicality, of car maintenance and insurance plans, has made me grisled and hardened. Most days, the world seems small, tame and predictable. (Google Earth factors into this somewhere too.)
This clip evoked something deep within me. I recognize that the worldview this evokes is partially one of childish naivety. But something deep within me knows that’s not entirely it. In spite of the naivety, there’s something true here. Or maybe—just maybe—it’s precisely this childish naivety that brought me closer to the deepest truths of my Father’s world than all my present studying, scheming and worrying.
Maybe that naivety was faith. When Jesus declares that entering the kingdom takes becoming like a child, surely there’s something here that needs to be reclaimed.
After all, a Christian worldview that is not reclaiming wonder and innocence, grandeur and majesty as it anticipates how the New Creation begun on Easter will be consummated throughout all space, time and matter—a worldview that does not do that can scarcely be called Christian at all.