growing up

When I “Grow Up”?

“So, what are you going to do with your life, now that you are home without kids, and aren’t going back to Africa?” A common question, and I must admit I squirm every time I hear it.

Am I supposed to be “doing” something? What, exactly? I don’t actually know.

In the fall last year I went through a phase where I wanted to “make something of myself.” I was going to go to school, and study something meaningful, like political science, or international relations. The plan was to change the world!!

Then I went through therapy, and deep soul cleansing. And winter.

Back to square one.

Or is it really?

I am back to that same question, but the answer is different now.

“I will do ANYTHING that Jesus asks me to do”…so I am waiting. Studying His word, listening to inspiring music, having conversations that make me uncomfortable at times, and WAITING.

What if that is ALL He wants me to do? Am I content with that? A lot of the time, the answer is yes, but….! But what about those gifts and talents that I have? What about all the free time I now have? (It’s not like I spend that extra time cleaning the house!)

This inner struggle is so common to all of us. We are to do something, be something, earn something, and in essence we are to be “productive”. That’s what grown ups do, after all. That’s why we get an education, and that’s why we strive. Society puts this pressure on us. There doesn’t seem to be much grace.

It’s really hard being a grown up. We don’t have the space to wonder anymore. We can’t just enjoy taking time and absorbing new information…without it having to be attached to a goal. There is a lot of guilt. I am tired of that burden.

Jesus says we are to be like little children.

Matthew 18:1-4 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

What does that mean? Does it mean we are to be like children? What does a child do? Well, they are open for teaching, laughter, singing, and they come with a pure heart. They see the world with color, but they don’t see skin color. They are hearts of love, without any strings attached. They want to grow up to be something fun and interesting…not because it is socially acceptable and has income potential.

No wonder Jesus wants us to be like children…!! I want to be like that too. When we have that wonder, and come with a pure, loving heart, it becomes so easy to accept ourselves for who we are. The way Jesus sees us. We carry His kingdom forward, just by being obedient and open to new possibilities.

Luke 18:16-17 But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”

Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.

As I am learning this lesson myself, feel encouraged to do the same. Start opening up your heart to new wonders and possibilities. There is true freedom in waiting and exploring. See the color around you, and laugh and sing and dance around…just because!

You might be surprised what you discover….