Most growth involves some sort of pain and challenge. It’s no wonder so many of us resist growing up in many different areas of life. It is possible to stagnate and waste our days refusing to change. But, bit by bit, awkward step by awkward step, we should grow and realize we are glad we did.
I recently watched the TV show, The Middle. The eldest son is nearing graduation from college and it just then starts to hit him that he has no idea what he wants to do or even what an adult is. His whole life was only about fun. The scene that stuck with me was him pulling out an old poster from elementary school that said he wanted to be an astronaut or SpongeBob Squarepants. He said, “Thanks a lot, mom and dad. You could have told me there’s a difference. It’s a little late to try to be an astronaut now.” He had a good point.
Maturity takes many small steps into wisdom.
We as parents work hard to help our kids take these steps so they are able to be independent and handle life’s challenges.
Let’s take the astronaut comment. Sure, when a child is 5 years old, his parent may not say much about the obvious discrepancy between the two life aspirations. But, at 8, maybe it’s time to say, one of these is a cartoon that’s silly and one is an amazing job that makes a difference. At 10, maybe it’s time to say, astronauts need to be good leaders and work hard in their classes. At 15, maybe it’s time to say, if you really want to be an astronaut, we need to change your classes and maybe get you some tutoring. At 18, maybe it’s time to say, you can apply to school but even if you don’t get accepted at first, you can keep working at it. So, now this child is about to graduate from college and has a plan and has learned to work hard and discipline himself to meet goals. What a difference!
Spiritually we need to be open to taking small, sometimes painful, steps toward maturity in God. It’s a great first step to try to read our Bibles every day. But, at some point, we need to learn that we read the Bible to know and love God better, not to earn God’s love.Next, we need to ponder what we read and memorize the words to allow them to transform us. Have we learned how important it is to be part of a church body where we support one another? Or what about reaching out to people and serving others? Can we ask our friends and family to point out discrepancies that are keeping us childish? Is it more important to do things “my way” or can we be humble and rethink the things we’ve always done?
Growing up was hard, but I really like being an adult now. There are far more benefits than negatives. Yeah, I miss playing all day and having naptime, but I love being a mom, and a wife, and a growing child of God. There’s no comparison!