Press on toward maturity

Published 3:10 pm Friday, September 13, 2019

The past couple of weeks have been filled with some milestones of life that we will not soon forget, even though it is hard to believe we are at this stage of life.  Mallory, our oldest granddaughter, got her driver’s license; it seems such a short time ago that her mother became a legal driver and I had to watch the taillights of my car leaving the driveway while I stood by the driveway.  And now to watch one of my grandchildren experiencing that same thrill of life is difficult to grasp (it might be a thrill to her, but it is a rather nerve wrenching thing to me!).

As though that is not enough, we went to a ceremony at school this week and watched as Mallory got her high school ring.  It seems that she ought to still be begging for rings out of the bubble gum machine, and now she is adorning a beautiful, real gold ornament on her finger signifying that she is approaching graduation from high school far quicker than we realize. 

To add to the thrill of seeing our girls grow up, we watched with pride as Addy, our fourth grader, was inducted into the National Elementary Honor Society.  She holds the difficult position of being the middle child—with an older sister with wheels and a younger sister who garners more attention that you could ever imagine, that puts Addy in a tough spot.  So to gain earned recognition was surely a boost to her confidence.

A few years ago I swallowed my pride and agreed to go with Addy and her class to a movie.  Shortly after the show started I realized that maybe it was not such a good idea after all, but to my great delight, the movie finally ended—it appeared that I had survived with my sanity after all!   Then to add to the joy of the day, after the movie we wheeled in at a fast food restaurant for a quick carry out meal.  Feeling good about my childcare skills, I expected that I had made a little girl really happy, but her words to me as we merged into traffic were much less than words of gratitude as she said:  “They gave me the wrong hamburger.”  Wondering what “wrong hamburger” she had, she then gave me the rundown on what was wrong:  “they put ketchup, mustard, and onions on it!”  Wow—it never crossed my mind that I was supposed to ask about every minute detail before placing the order!  I guess the movie we watched was appropriate for the situation: The Boss Baby.  Thankfully Addy was a gracious little lady—she was pleased with the rest of the contents in the bag and it turned out well after all.

What a great reward it is to see our children and grandchildren making achievements and gaining accomplishments in life.  On a much greater scale, it must please the heart of God to see us advancing ahead spiritually.  He did not intend for us to remain spiritual babies, but to grow in our knowledge of Him and increase in displaying His nature through our choices and actions. 

Our children and grandchildren did not grow as they have without struggles and mishaps along the way.  Yet, they had a desire to continue on toward maturity.  God wants us to have the drive to press on toward spiritual maturity.  James 1 offers a powerful reminder:  “Because you know that  the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (verses 3-4, New International Version).