Saturday, September 27, 2014

On Growing Up

They seem a bit young to be driving, but they certainly look happy to be behind the wheels of their own silver trucks.   Declan and Roman had fun chugging slowly along on the vast green carpet of grass at Roman's granddad's farm.  If they'd been out on the highway, however, it would have been a whole other story.

Children aren't expected to be able to handle the same things adults handle.  Nor should they be expected to behave like an adult.  Childhood is suppose to be that carefree time of life with giggles and silliness and pretending and faces that are lit with joy like these two adorable little boys.  It's a once in a lifetime experience that is, hopefully, magical and happy.  But, eventually, we all have to grow up.

Paul spoke about childhood and growing up in his letter to the Corinthians:  "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things" 13:11.

It would look strange indeed if the two dads of Roman and Declan tried to drive these two mini-trucks instead of their own full-size vehicles.  It's downright laughable to imagine them trying.  Let's face it, there's no way either dad would be able to squeeze even a portion of his six-foot frame into those little cabs.  These trucks are just right for a three and four-year old, but completely inappropriate for grown men.

That's what Paul was talking about -- only on a higher level.  Paul was talking about our views of God, our behavior, and our goals in life.  These things are suppose to change drastically when you grow up.  Therein I think lies part of the problem -- many people just aren't ready to grow up.  Some thirty-year olds still have that "college dorm" mentality, perhaps hoping to catch the eye of Peter Pan and join the Lost Boys in Neverland (you remember, the land where you never grow up).

I don't mean to sound harsh, but it does seem to be a problem in this age we live in.  Apparently it was also a problem in the early church when Paul wrote to the Corinthians and then in another letter to the Hebrews when he wrote:  "For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.  But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" Hebrews 5:13-14.

Growing up doesn't have to mean losing that happy smile or the joy of fun and games.  It does mean that we need to put our lives into the right perspective -- having fun when it's appropriate to do so, but being serious and deliberate in the important aspects of life -- making sure there is good purpose, God's purpose, in our thoughts and our actions.

A diet of milk doesn't sound like something any of us want as our only form of nourishment.  Simply being a Sunday morning church-goer and never stepping up to serve, or worse, failing to ever open your Bible or darken the door of the church -- these things will keep you on that liquid diet reserved for babies. 

"Solid food belongs to those who are of full age" -- those who grow in the Lord and the power of His Word, those who seek and find and rejoice in the presence of the Lord in their lives.  These are the grown-up men and women who "put away childish things" and join in the real adventure of life following after a God who -- after all, created us in the first place!

My question to you is, would you rather sink your teeth into a juicy cheeseburger and fries, or do you want to sit there and nurse your glass of milk?  It's your choice -- choose wisely.

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled" Matthew 5:6.

"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!" Psalm 34:8.

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