By breaking free from our misperceptions about what it means to be an adult, we can reshape our world and become harbingers of grace.
"In our desire to grow up, mature, become adults, we become enamored with who we are supposed to be. When we have finally 'grown up' we realize much of who we really are has been left behind or buried under various masks and roles we play. But the knowledge of who we truly are never leaves us. To reclaim our selfhood, we must grow up again and consciously embrace all that it means to be childlike."
—from Chapter 12, "It Takes a Long Time to Become Young"
By restoring the childlike ways of humility, trust, awe, wonder, playfulness and more, we can recover a fuller picture of what it means to be human. This unique spiritual resource explores what Jesus may have meant when he said, "Unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." It addresses our modern misperceptions regarding the nature of maturity and the common coping mechanisms—distrust, guardedness, insecurity, judgmental thinking—we acquire, and feel we require, in adulthood.
Along with the wisdom of ancient and modern spiritual luminaries, this book provides over twenty-five spiritual practices to help us cultivate the childlike ways of attention, self-awareness, joy and resilience in our inner lives as well as in our relationships with others.
Inviting his readers to explore their childlike not childish qualities on the path to spiritual transformation, Mooney writes that "becoming like a child is a way to enter the realm of grace... in the here and now." The Presbyterian minister and spiritual director takes his inspiration from Jesus's words, "Unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." In lighthearted, playful fashion Mooney addresses the "how" by investigating such topics as forgiveness, humility, trust, humor, and beginner's mind. He draws on personal experience, a wide variety of writers from popular psychology to classics, and the Bible to illuminate his subject, including charming stories about children he has known. Simple practices encourage self-reflection. While Mooney's approach is engaging and generally insightful, it can be superficial. The author tends to rely on clich s and generalizations while gliding over the hardships, suffering, and even trauma that may make it difficult for adults to access a childlike joy. This book will appeal most to those firmly in adulthood and middle age, rather than younger adults or baby boomers.