I was sitting in the waiting room of the hospital this week waiting for my wife to get out of surgery when I was distracted by a young boy who was talking and playing games with anyone in the general vicinity who was willing to pay attention to him. After a few minutes, he moved over to my region and began playing the age-old game of having to stay on certain patterns or objects on the floor to avoid falling in quicksand; or hot lava as was the case with me, I guess I was more sadistic. While he was explaining the rules of the game to no one in particular and demonstrating his ability to jump from safe spot to safe spot, I commented on one of his jumps that appeared to me particularly athletic. His response was to look at me with concern in his eyes and inform me with a voice quivering with desperation that I was sitting in the quicksand and needed to move to the darker colored floor pattern. Naturally, I jumped up from my seat with no hesitation and relocated myself and all my belongings to safe ground.
We began to talk and he taught me all sorts of things about this world he was currently inabiting. I found myself fascinated by the power of his imagination and had all sorts of questions about where these ideas came from and did I have this kind of imagination when I was a kid? Was it this vivid? At one point, he looked with panic toward a woman to our right who had just stepped into the quicksand and he suggested that I go pick her up and run her to safety. I suggested that the woman might call the police to have me arrested if I followed that advice.
This conversation sparked all sorts of thoughts for me that I want to write more about later but a key one came when he began walking on the quicksand. He had just finished explaining to me that the quicksand was 100 feet deep and you sink like a rock when you go in so you can't get caught in it. Then he stepped on it and began doing a sort of irish river dance. Careful! I said. How was he keeping from sinking?
Apparently, all you have to do in order to keep from sinking in the quicksand is keep moving. Just act like it's not quicksand and walk right over top of it, that's the only way you can keep from sinking.
He tried so hard to get me to walk on the quicksand with him but I was just too scared, I said. I was bigger than him and weighed more and what if the quicksand took me down. Don't worry, he said. All you have to do is keep moving.
14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them,“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. --Mark 10:14-16
References from other religious texts forthcoming.