A Vision from the Past
Watching children at the Columbia children’s museum I remember the first years of our daughter. In the middle of the museum, a two-story image of a young boy fills the room and children climb up and slide down the slides encircling him. I focused on the slides and remembering the day Stefani celebrated her third birthday. It was the same day my doctorate was conferred but, we wished to celebrate her birthday at Chuck E. Cheese. We drove down the road from the hotel pulling into the lot without telling her where we were going. The laughter and smile on her face started a special day for the entire Mentzer family.
After we shared the pizza, drink, and cake, we played the machines winning little trinkets from the tickets. Suddenly, Vicki cries out from across the room, “Steve, where’s Stefani?” Panic crept into our hearts and though a child cannot leave without parents, we searched the entire restaurant looking for our precious Babygirl. Suddenly from above, a small voice calls out, “Hi Mommy! Hi, Daddy!” Somehow, she climbed in the overhead tubes sitting at a window and looked at her bewildered parents.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
I Corinthians 13:11
A Certainty for the Future
Stefani has grown too tall to climb in those tubes which encircled the room at Chuck E. Cheese. She has grown into a beautiful young woman who loves the Lord and is a gem to her parents. Once she had a duck costume for a dance recital and would wear it till we took it away. It is in mommy’s cedar chest we are saving for her. Likewise, God expects us to grow, mature and leave those things we no longer fit the image of a Christian. God expects his children to grow, mature and leave behind things like hatred, malice, evil intent and many others. This future can be called a certainty because God continues to discipline those he loves. This is not chastisement like a spanking but the intent of the father to grow us and mature us into the image of the Son.
Paul says in this passage of Scripture he put off the childish ways. Similarly, we must put off the things in our life which reflect immaturity instead of Christian maturity. I hope we get rid of everything that stands in the way of our maturity–beginning with self.