Bible Verse: “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” (Ephesians 4:14-15)

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:1-16

“Grow up, will you!!”

The words struck deep, hit hard and hurt a lot. If only he knew how much I was trying. Growing up is rarely easy, and never quick. It is a process with stages we all must pass through if maturity is to be our destination. As a baby I knew very little and was totally dependent on my parents. Complete trust was the norm, the key to my survival. As a child, however, I began to grasp for independence, slowly obtaining larger chunks.

Then I joined the prestigious club of teenagers where I knew it all and flaunted my complete independence. I didn’t need my parents or anyone else over me. Like William Ernest Henley, I thought I was “the master of my fate and the captain of my soul.”

It was only later that I realized another stage was most crucial in my development. In order to arrive at maturity, I not only had to move beyond the baby stage of knowing nothing (dependence), but I also had to leave behind the teenage “know-it-all” attitude (independence). Growing up, I discovered, involves a recognition of both what I do know as well as what I don’t; and who I do need along with who I don’t (interdependence).

We’ve all seen sad cases where people can’t or won’t leave the childhood stage. They remain totally dependent on others.

Then there’s the “eternal teenager,” rebellious to the core and flaunting his “I’ve-got-it-all-together” independence. What a delight to find a bona-fide mature adult who realizes he is not an island unto himself! Although possessing much knowledge he realizes there is still much to discover.

My friend’s rebuke hurt me, not just because he’d flung it with malice but also because it was true. I was immature. I did have a lot of growing up to do. I didn’t know it all. I was only 16.

Now, more than twice that age, I would love to say I have arrived, but the growing up process isn’t over. In many ways there’s still so much to come. I’m delighted with all that I have been able to observe, collect, understand and perceive. I cherish the wisdom and insight gained from many sources but realize I’m just scratching the surface. There is an entire Universe full of truth that we know so little about. And beyond that, there’s so much more!

I guess that’s why I find it rather comical when people, known by the world for their intelligence, are caught making authoritative statements like, “There is no God!” or “Jesus did not rise from the dead!” As if they know! As if they were there! Some people are like concrete – all mixed up and well set. I’d rather not be one of them.

I want to keep growing up.

— Dave Petrescue in Pastor Dave’s Reflections
© Brenda Petrescue, 2008. Used By Permission.

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