Saturday, July 21, 2012

on growing up...

Growing up. That is what we are supposed to do. We are supposed to get taller and stronger and have larger vocabularies and be able to express ourselves better. We are supposed to cease throwing temper tantrums when we do not get what we want. We are supposed to learn that the world does not revolve around us and our every whim. We are supposed to become responsible and productive members of society. You know, the kind that get up in the mornings and show up to work on time. (I think when I was in high school my dad may have had his doubts that I would actually ever be able to do this one as he yelled at me to get out of bed EVERY morning.) These are all the things we know about growing up, but the reality is that sometimes we get stuck.

Sometimes we forget that we are 26 or 35 or 57 or fill-in-the-blank. Quite frankly, sometimes we simply act like 2-year-olds. A few weeks ago I was visiting my family, and I had a little giggle watching my 2-year-old nephews and the potential eruption that was brewing. One of them likes to open cabinet doors. One of them likes to keep cabinet doors closed. So, this is a little bit what the scene looked like.

Caleb told Aden to close it. Aden returned a death stare. Frustration started to rise on both sides. Sound familiar?
Now, I like to think that I no longer make a high-pitched shriek when someone else blatantly goes against what I want them to do. However, I am not sure that the response I do have is any more desirable. Is anyone else tracking with me here?
What is wrong with us? Why do we so often still act like toddlers? And, I do not mean that we are fighting over whether the cabinet doors are open or closed. I mean the ways we fail to consider others and think only of ourselves. Did we ever really learn that the world does not center around us? Other people and materials do not exist simply to make my life more comfortable. Yes, I want to enjoy people, and I do not see anything wrong with enjoying stuff. But, people make mistakes and stuff breaks. That is just the way things go, and I want to be able to live with an attitude that is thankful and joyful and filled with mercy and grace. I want to love justice. I want to grow up.

"You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God's word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn't know how to do what is right. Solid good is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognized the difference between right and wrong." Hebrews 5:12-14

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