I licked an ice-cream cone today and then proceeded to place it in an oven. I was served water from a milk jug, cooked eggs on a tiny fry pan and munched a banana down in all of about 5 seconds.
Very often the only way to get a quality in reality is to start behaving as if you had it already. That is why children’s games are so important. They are always pretending to be grown ups – playing soldiers, playing shop. But all the time, they are hardening their muscles and sharpening their wits so that the pretence of being grown up helps them to grow up in earnest.
C S Lewis, Mere Christianity in “A Year with C S Lewis – 365 Daily Readings from Classic Works.”
There’s much to be learnt from playing pretend kitchens with my dear little 2-year-old friend from church.
Over the past couple of days I’ve been reading again these excerpts from Mere Christianity – a book that I read a couple of years ago – about the process of becoming like Christ, of putting off an old self and putting on a new self. As an aside I think it is amazing how the passage of time can lead me to read again things that I have read in the past almost anew – the words haven’t changed, I have. Or rather I am changing. Slowly.
This notion of pretending to be like Christ (even whilst still feeling pretty unlike Christ on the inside), so that eventually you do become like him in reality, resonated with what I have been learning about thinking more and more like Jesus.
So often, my thoughts don’t sound like a person who has the mind of Christ. I have always defaulted to ruminating on negative thoughts of self-pity, jealousy and fear, in the face of many decisions or responsibilities both large and small. But more and more I find myself speaking more positively (perhaps with still niggling negative thoughts on the inside). The battle still exists, but I find that the more I speak words of truth and hope, the more I believe them in my mind. I am the first to emphasise however, that this change is not my doing – it is God at work in me – Spirit, Son and Father. God the Father is answering a prayer I started praying months ago that I would desire to read the word daily. I am now reading daily and the desire is growing. By His Spirit, I have found myself ruminating less on fears and worries and more on the words “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ,” from 2 Corinthians 10:5. And because of what Jesus has done, I can continue to have confidence that no matter what, He works for the good of those who love him.
Yes, sometimes I surprise myself when positive words come out of my mouth – and it does feel a bit like licking plastic ice-cream, but I hope that the more I pretend to be like Him, the more I become like Him – heart, mind and soul.
And one day, my little friend from church will probably be cooking up a storm in her own real kitchen.