Monday, June 8, 2009

Growth: The inevitable?

Yesterday was my kids' last day of school for the year. **silence**

I am not entirely sure how I feel about this day yet. You see, I am not the mom who cries when her children leave for their first day of school. And it's not because I am glad to get rid of them (okay, maybe a tiny bit ;). I am genuinely amazed to watch my children grow. It is a process that I enjoy.

At the beginning of this school year, my 6th grader was contemplating the merits of the various instruments in the Beginning Band. Now she has progressed through the first year of playing the clarinet to the point that her band director is allowing her to switch to the bassoon, a much more complicated instrument, this summer & into the next school year. That, my friends, is a lot of growth.

Over the last 3 years, my 4th grader has gone from being a shy child who was afraid to talk to adults to her teacher's biggest helper. And my son, in just the past couple of months, has finally begun enjoying participating in his P.E. class without melting down when things don't go "his way".

To be honest, I still get a kick out of learning myself. I have an unrealized dream of going to med school. Because of my persistent health issues I finished my degree in math & left things there. But I never leave a question unanswered. I can't decide if that is a good thing or a major annoyance to everyone around me. :)

But isn't this what God intends for each of us all through our lives? He doesn't hold us back, hoping that we will stay young & cute forever. He allows us to grow, to learn, even to hurt. All with the intent of becoming more like Him.
I like how Paul counsels Timothy in I Tim. 4:6-16

If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Timothy's gift was in leading the Church. But the same encouragement applies to us all: Train yourself in sound doctrine, i.e., Scripture. Set your hope on the living God. Set an example for all believers regardless of your age. Pursue your spiritual gifts. Growth will follow.