Growing up in God
by Steve Highlander
I was walking into my local hometown grocery store in the small, Midwest, county-seat town where I was pastor of a church. The store featured one of those mechanical ponies that cost a quarter to ride. I do not know how long it had been there. The paint was chipped in places. An ear was missing, and part of the tail had been broken off. What caught my eye on this day was the young man riding the pony. He must have been 10 or so and a bit too big to be riding the pony. What really stood out was the expression on his face. I am not sure if it was real—or put on for my benefit.
His face betrayed his thoughts, “this is thing is for little kids and I’m doing it, but not really enjoying it. His look said, “this is boring,” I am sure when he dropped the quarter in and climbed on, he expected a bit more excitement—like in his younger days.
Because the Lord drew my attention to this situation, I contemplated what He might be trying to tell me.
I realized something about the young man—he was caught in that awkward stage of growing up. No doubt he had ridden that pony many times, begging his mother for a quarter when they got out of the car.
I am sure he knew he was too old, but he wanted one last ride, unwilling to let a part of his childhood slip away. However, he also had to make it look like he was not enjoying it—because, after all—he was not a little kid anymore.
He was in that in-between-time when he was not what he was—a child—and not yet what he was going to be—an adult. Such is growing up. Both physically and spiritually.
The Church of Jesus Christ is in the midst of transformation. Things are not what they were, and they are not yet what they are going to be. I can think of no better phrase to describe this than SPIRITUAL ADOLESCENCE.
Adolescence is a TEMPORARY period of dramatic change. It is about coming of age. It is about that person growing up to become what they were destined to be—in a physiological sense. We do not expect full-grown adults to come out of the womb. No mother says, “I am expecting a teen.” (Thank God they are not born full-grown for several reasons.) However, no mother expects their baby NOT to grow into a strong mature person. To continue reading download the eBook or PDF from the link above.