What to do
I’m over 40 now. You’d think I’d feel “grow-up” at this point.
I remember asking my mother about this, this “when will I feel grown up?”, about 10 years ago. She is dead now about seven years. The uterine and colon cancer she had beaten about five years before this conversation would resurge two years after this talk. It metastasized to her lungs and she slowly withered away. My sister, the brave soul that she is, was the one to be with her to the end. I was 1000 miles away. My poor dad was forced to watch his true love and intellectual counterpart slowly drift away.
Thus, the context in my head. She said “you never really do feel grown up.”
One of my favorite theologians, Ravi Zacharias, refers to that feeling as the imprint of the immortal/infinite. Something inside us seems to think that we can’t really be getting older. It’s odd because all we know is time. It’s like a fish in water, all it knows is water and yet is constantly surprised that it is wet.
All about us the world frets about getting older: anti-aging creams, plastic surgery, spinning classes, fad diets, make up, hair dyes, hormone replacement, Viagra, and on and on.
We can’t stop time. We keep trying to think of ways to make the water feel less wet. Some hope in science, that we will somehow find a way to “shut off” the aging process once we are “grown”. But what is grown? If we shut off this process, will it stop us from growing intellectually as well? Imagine a world full of 20 year olds. Think they know everything and yet have a lot to learn. Not that they are bad people, just immature. And the ever elusive question of wisdom. The world is already seriously lacking in that area, I can’t imagine a world where it is in even shorter supply.
The Christ follower should know his days are numbered. But we also should know not to fear it. Our savior has saved us from the true death, eternal separation from God.
So, what are we to do with our time?
I think the answer is not “grow up” but “grow fruit”. Grow eternal fruit. To the unbeliever this sounds like foolishness.
I think the world’s view could be summed up in that trite saying “look out for number one”.
Am I a theologian, some great intellectual that you should listen to? Nope. Just a guy whose life was utterly revamped by this first century Jewish carpenter that says he is the son of God, died on a cross and then rose from the dead three days later. Then he told me:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
So I encourage you, read a respected translation of the bible. Read for yourself the New Testament accounts of this life, of this Life of Christ. The result of this life is fruit.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
My life must be in Him who saved me:
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.”
What to do? Die to self, live in Christ, let His life live out through you as you go and make other followers (disciples) of Christ Jesus. Go grow some fruit.