Fully Grown, Dead and Alive

Do you think you are fully grown?

Sometimes I wonder if the time my kids  spend in their rooms while falling asleep is actually time to plan an assault on dad.  Just for the record, I am not talking about physical violence.(mostly)  I am talking about the random things they will say that actually have a profound impact on my brain.  Many times I literally stop because they have managed to say something so eloquently.

One morning my oldest boys were rambling about whatever was on their minds.  It often turns into a stream of consciousness thing.   What I mean is that whatever they see sparks something in their mind which leads to many other things.   In the midst of it one of my boys asked me about being full-grown.

“Dad, you aren’t full-grown yet, right?  If you were full-grown you would be dead.”

He had asked a question and answered a question.  This left me in an unusual place, silence.  Think about it, when was the last time you were able to get a pastor to not answer a question.   Still the more I thought about it, the more I actually liked what he said. I actually liked it for more than one reason, the first of which being that I am not dead.   Even more than that, though, is the thought that I am not full-grown yet.  I think that is a good thing, but not as an excuse for immaturity.

In the movie Rocketman there is a scene where Fred Randal is on his way to NASA to train for a mission to Mars.  As he is leaving home, his mom brings him peanut butter and jelly sandwiches shaped like rockets and space ships.  His response to his mom is one that many of us would also have: “mom, I’m 30 years old.  I am almost a full-grown man!”  Then in a funny twist he throws in: “I’ll take the rocket”, and proceeds to grab a sandwich.

Healthy things grow and we are never done growing.

The fact is that no matter where we are in life, we are never done growing.   We are never done needing other people’s help and encouragement.  If we have told ourselves that, we are in big trouble.  I read a lot of different things because I know that there are many people smarter than I am.  I learn about trends, culture and all sorts of things related to ministry because I don’t know it all.    It doesn’t end there.

When it comes to faith in Christ I know that I am being formed, but I am not done yet.   If we ever consider ourselves done growing, we are in trouble.  The work the Jesus Christ is complete because He conquered death on the cross.  At the same time the work of shaping us into His image is ongoing.   We abide in Him and “struggle with all His energy which so powerfully works in us.” (Colossians 1:29)   The goal there is to be perfected in Christ.  Believe me I am not done yet and I would guess you aren’t either.

Without knowing it my boys have actually stated something quite profound.  The work of being set apart  for God and formed in His image is happening now, but it is not complete until we are physically dead.   This keeps us from getting complacent and stale because we can always grow.   In the end this is the best possible scenario because while We are not full-grown until we are dead, we are also not truly alive until then either.

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