Be a kid!

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1 Cor 13:11)

No, no I didn’t put away childish things. Paul may have, but I still embrace the childish things. They’re fun, they bring joy, happiness and silliness to life. I need these things to keep me going, pull me out of the mire and add some colour to life.

The other day I saw a tweet by @Lolly_Knickers (Worth following, by the way. She’s funny) which simply said “I killed Lucy”, a reference to the murder of Lucy Beale in Eastenders (which I don’t watch anymore, but still got the reference). I replied that I shot JR, which led to an increasingly silly conversation where we claimed responsibility for a series of historical soap opera events. Daft, but really good fun.

She then tweeted “we are grown ups. I never imagined that this is what grown ups do when I was little”.

This is the truest thing I’ve ever seen on Twitter. Two 40 year old children claiming to have burned down Crossroads Motel and that they are Mr Opodopoulous is inane and not what I ever imagined grown ups do. (I apologise to anyone from outside of the UK, or under the age of 40 who may not get either of those references)

I always thought that I would, one day, feel like a grown up. When I was 20 I thought I’d feel like one by 30. When I was 30 I thought I’d feel like one by 40. Now I’m 40 and, well you get the idea. I just feel like I’m pretending I’m an adult. It feels like everyone around me is mature, responsible and knows where they’re going in life, while I’m still a kid trapped in a bald, middle aged body.

Then I have conversations like that on Twitter. Or my wife tells me how she broke into song at a job interview (primary school teacher – it sort of makes sense). Or I have a conversation with a 70 year old man who says that he feels like he’s pretending to be a grown up. These things make me realise that everyone feels the same. We’re all just kids in adults’ bodies still trying to find our way in the world.

Yes I’m more mature than I was. Yes I can be a grumpy old man at times. Yes I can go off on very serious rants. But, I still want fun and silliness. I still need to have pointless conversations, just for a laugh, or put on stupid voices, or laugh like a drain at a not very funny joke. We all do. Life is there to be lived and enjoyed. It’s a gift and a blessing which we can sometimes miss by letting the world get on top of us and crush us so that we’re care worn, cynical and too serious.

Let’s be kids. Not all the time, we need to be serious and responsible as adults. But, just at times, we need to let ourselves go and be silly, joyful and carefree. We need to just enjoy life.

Come on. Last one to do it is a rotten egg!

Preparing to prepare

It’s an important week this week.

Yes, besides our annual excuse to eat pancakes! (Not that you should ever need an excuse to eat pancakes, of course)

This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Lent signifies the period of reflection, prayer, repentance, sacrificing and self denial leading up to the Holy Week of Easter. It is a way of cleansing body and soul as followers of Jesus prepare to celebrate His victory over death and sin which happened during His crucifixion on Good Friday and resurrection on Easter Sunday.

And we do this, in the modern age, by giving up chocolate for a few weeks.

In the past I have done just that, which culminated in a mild Caramac addiction. I have also given up alcohol, which can’t have been much of a sacrifice as I’ve been teetotal for seven years now. I haven’t, however, put myself through any of the other preparation for Easter. Bad Darren!

So, here’s the deal. Over the Lenten period I will be carrying out a daily Bible study, as set out on BibleGateway.com (put together by the Central Presbyterian Church of Baltimore). I’ll then post my reflections on each reading on this blog.

If you want to study it along with me then just click the link above. It follows the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) with one chapter of 1 Corinthians to finish with On Easter Saturday. Please also comment on any posts if you agree or disagree with anything I’ve written. Especially if you disagree as I’m under no illusions that I have a lot to learn, so being called out on any misunderstandings I have would be perfect for me.

Writing this post also means that I have to do it. I mean, if people actually read this then there are people out there who may notice if I skip a day. It may be that nobody notices, but I can’t take the chance.

I might give up chocolate, too. You’ll never know if I cheat on that one, though!