…dead! I know it sounds awful and even a bit morbid but it is true. I looked in the mirror after my last haircut and realized that God knowing the number of hairs on my head was getting easier. That being said my follicley challenged head is not my reason for this statement. I noticed recently when I lie down my bosoms fall into my armpits. This is disturbing on two levels. First, gravity is taking its toll as I age. Second, I am a man and until recently I didn’t have bosoms. Still this is not the reason I want to be dead when I grow up.
There is a beauty in the innocence of a childlike dependence.
To grow up suggests the end of a process and the beginning of a new approach to life. To grow up is to become independent, to provide for one’s self, to no longer need the support or advice of those who protected and taught you up until now. Gone is the childlike innocence, the quest to know more, the eagerness to learn, explore and grow. Career paths are set and education complete. We seek only to expand on what we already know to advance what we already are.
Rarely do we try something new or deviate from the comfortable, sedate life we have chosen. Our quest is not to know more but to appear to know enough and therefore avoid being thought of as in need of outside help. The beauty of childlike dependence is replaced by the façade of adult independence so as to avoid looking weak or undereducated.
It is necessary to be a grownup but you don’t have to grow up.
I have a wife, I have kids, I have grandkids. I have a house to keep clean and food to put on the table. There are bills that need to be paid and chores that need to be completed. I cannot continue to rely on the adults around me to take care of my responsibilities because I am an adult myself.
Responsibilities may require me to be a grownup but they should never convince me that I am all grown up. My life demands that I step up and employ what I know and what I can do so that things do not remain unaddressed but this should in no way stunt my desire to learn more and be more until the day I die.
I want to be dead when I grow up.
It is arrogant to live life as if you can do everything there is to do and know everything there is to know. To replace that childlike desire, to grow with childish illusions of being all grown up means there is nothing more to life than to bide your time until you have no more time left. There has to be more to life than waiting to die. When you were young everything was a new experience and an opportunity to learn, why should that stop just because you are no longer a child?
When it comes to faith I will be dead when I grow up.
The day there is no longer anything to be discovered should be the day I pass from this life into the next. Every day before that should be spent seeking to know more about God, seeking to become more like Jesus and seeking a deeper relationship through the Holy Spirit that dwells in me, empowers me and guides me.
If I replace my childlike desire to grow in my faith with childish illusions of being all grown up it means I will arrogantly live as if there is nothing more for me to know and I will simply bide my time until I have no more time left. My faith becomes complacent, my works uninspired or nonexistent and I become dead.
We can act all grown up and therefore be dead or in death become all grown up.
Immaturity in our faith leads us to believe we know all we need to know and are doing all we need to do to be like Jesus. We consider ourselves all grown up and simply continue on in this illusion. The truth is, we are actually dead before we die, we are dead before all is revealed and therefore never really were all grown up.
Maturity in our faith leads us to realize that we are further from knowing and being like Jesus than we once thought. Through this realization we seek more of God with childlike desire and humble recognition that we are still so far from knowing all we need to know and being all we need to be. This does not stop until all is revealed and we are made perfect, all grown up.
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 1 Peter 2:2-3 (NIV)