When I was a child, I wanted to become a teacher, an artist, an astronomer, and a marine biologist … just to name a few. It’s funny, with my wide range of interests, what industry I found myself working in full-time (finance) and where I am now (a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom). Currently, my daughter wants to be a “cupcake artist,” and my 4-year-old wants to be a ninja. However, when most children are eager to tell you what they want to be when they grow up, my oldest son, Gabriel, would rather avoid the subject altogether.
When my children and I were casually talking about this topic, Gabriel just shook his head and said, “I don’t want to grow up. I want to stay with you forever.” Awww, a very sweet thing to say. But then again, I’m not sure I would feel that way when he’s in his thirties and won’t leave the house. Honestly, I have a hard time imagining my son in his thirties, even twenties, even as a teenager. The day-to-day can be frustrating, as there seems to be no progress at all. Then, someone comes along and says, “That’s amazing how much he has improved!” Like the growth of a child, you may not notice the incremental upward movements, but someone, who hasn’t seem them in a while, will not fail to notice the change. Gabriel’s path to maturity may be different from others, but he is on that path.
As children of God, our spiritual paths may differ. Some will mature faster than others. Lessons to be learned will not be the same. The circumstances are tailored specifically for each person. Therefore, comparisons are not productive; it can stunt growth. Instead, we ought to spur each other on to maturity, knowing that we are not all growing at the same rate. But, we must seek to grow, to excel still more, and avoid complacency.
Like Gabriel, we may not want to grow up. But we cannot remain as children in our spiritual maturity. There are grave consequences.
” … so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Ephesians 4:14-15).
Perhaps we may be comfortable where we are at. Seeking to grow and mature means risk. If I commit to serving in a ministry, I may be called on to do something during inconvenient times. If I study the Bible more, I may have to give an account of the hope I’ve been given. Or worse, I may be persecuted for my beliefs. If I pray, I may have to let go of my independence. If I reach out to someone who is suffering, I may have to bear their burdens. If I seek counsel, I may have to be humbled.
But, in the end, we will find that the perceived risk was not risk at all when it was all done for Christ. Unlike my children, whose career choices change every week, we can remain steadfast and focused in our spiritual growth because our goal and prize in the end will never change. To the praise and glory of Jesus Christ!
(Photo Credit: Intrepidteacher)