Growing Up

schoolThis week, Jeanine and I transitioned.  For those of you who know us, you know that we thought we had made this transition seven years ago, but Monday was really (hopefully and finally) the day that everything changed.  On Monday our youngest, Joshua, started kindergarten and we faced the reality that there were no more babies in the house.  We’d been through the first day of kindergarten three times before and all three times we cried, just a little, knowing that a precious season in life had passed.  Monday we held back the tears, for the most part, but the realization was there – things were going to be different from now on.

As much as I would like Josh to stay a ‘baby’, I am glad he is now going off to school.  This week, we have been enraptured by his tales of new friendships, his dislike of major portions of the school lunches and his ideas about the world.    As he turns each day into the classroom, he is gaining an education and a confidence that he could not fully acquire at home.  New opportunities and relationships are presenting themselves to my 5 year-old.  Josh was so excited to go to kindergarten; am I so selfish that I would deprive him of that joy just to hold onto him a while longer?

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

Paul’s words to the church in Ephesus have been speaking to me these past few days.  The immature, ‘babes in Christ’, are at risk of getting swept up by all sorts of things and are in danger of being dashed against the rocks like a dinghy in a hurricane.  Their only hope is found in growing up in Christ and becoming mature and in so doing being able to navigate and orchestrate safe passage through difficult waters.  Joshua needs to develop the necessary skills to make safe passage, and kindergarten is just the first step.  In many ways I, too, need to continue developing the skills that come with maturity so that I will make safe passage as well.

In a culture that celebrates the immature and the inane, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to foster maturity and wisdom in our children, let alone ourselves.  Yes, Joshua is off to school now, but there he will develop more fully the capacity to read and reason, to add numbers and ask questions, to succeed and even to fail.  These are all good things…better things than sitting at home and watching Sophia the First with his dad.  Maybe the time that he is at school will give me the opportunity to grow in maturity as well – to read, reason, add, ask, succeed and fail in my own ways.

Yes, we have no babies at home.  I only pray that we are all growing up, not just growing older.

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