Make a Fool of Yourself for God.
S&H reader Heather Pacheco, who describes herself as a "spiritual fledgling," offers this invitation, gleaned from her 2 a.m. epiphany:
Children learn new things easier than adults - speaking foreign languages, playing an instrument, learning to swim. We've heard theories about why: children's brain synapses fire faster than adults', they don't have to unlearn bad habits, etc. But there is one advantage that children have that may offer hope to the not-so-young. Children learn new skills easier than adults because they're not afraid to make fools of themselves. When a child dons a tutu and waltzes, she doesn't fear the critical eye of others. She is alive in the dance. When a child sets out to learn to play piano, he is thrilled when he masters a simple tune like "The Old Gray Mare." For an adult, mastering "The Old Gray Mare" brings less of a sense of accomplishment than a reminder of how far we have to go. We struggle against our critical inner voice that wants us to instantly excel, to avoid the clumsy learning stage. But the kicker is that no matter what you're trying to learn, no matter what your age, you are probably going to have to go through a significant time of clumsiness. So I ask: Have you given up on meditation because your brain won't quiet down and you feel silly fighting with it? Are you afraid to take that yoga class because probably everyone there will be twisted up like pretzels while you struggle to move your leg? Do you stifle your impulse to share your spiritual learning for fear that you might sound pretentious? Jesus himself said, "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." So I invite you to join me in making a fool of yourself for God. I invite you to shush that inner critic, be like a child, and rejoice in the learning as it comes step by step. I promise I won't laugh, if you promise, too.