Thursday, January 21, 2010

Childish Things

What things were important to you as a child? Did you have certain toys that meant more to you than others? Maybe you had a special doll or “action figure.” Did you like to play certain games or do certain activities with your friends?

I used to love nothing more than playing in the woods behind my house. There was a creek that I used to follow and I would sometimes stay there all day. I had very good friends who lived around me and I had certain toys that were special.

I had a stuffed monkey that held a banana in his hand. He looked exactly like the one on the right. You could stick the banana in his mouth and it would stay there. His name was Monk-Monk. One day, a friend of mine was visiting our house, and accidentally tore the ear off of Monk-Monk. I cried like my own ear had been torn off, because he was a special toy.

Today, I have no idea where Monk-Monk is. I had not thought of him in a very long time. Perhaps he was thrown away. Maybe I gave him to someone. He may have fallen apart. I have no idea.

The point is, that most of us were attached to certain things in our childhood, that we thought we could never live without, but have somehow managed to, well…live without. How could that happen? In time, your idea of fun changed. With the passing of time and maturity, you outgrew many of the things you once believed you would always cherish. These things were replaced by other things that were more appropriate for your age.

This past week in Taranto, Italy, a 4 year-old boy decided he was too old for his pacifiers, so he took drastic measures to get rid of them. A few days before his birthday, he called the Italian equivalent of 911, and asked the police to come to his house, so he could surrender the pacifiers to them. He said “I'm old enough now so you can have my dummies.” The police arrived at the boy’s birthday party and traded him a police hat, in exchange for his pacifiers.

We should be that mature about our Christian walk. We should be ready to give up those things that the world tells us we need, and exchange them for what God tells us we must have. I’m sure the Italian boy thought having a police hat was much better than having pacifiers, but he would have never known that joy, if he had stuck with his pacifiers.

A group of tourists were visiting a picturesque village. The group walked by an old man sitting by a fence. In a rather patronizing way, one of them asked, “Were any great men born in this village?”

The old man replied, “Nope, only babies.”

Great men and women are not born; they become great by doing great things. Great men and women of God are the same way. The closer they get to God, the greater and more powerful in Him they become. We will never reach our greatest potential on earth, with God, until we follow Him into advanced levels of maturity in our Christian journey.

However, many of us are stuck with our old ways. Just like those treasured toys of our childhood, we want to hold on to them forever, because it is a comfortable place for us. Unfortunately, that comfortable place can sometimes interfere with where God wants to take us. If we are to truly serve Him, then we must let go of our old ways and follow Christ into the new wonderful adventure that lies before us, when we bring our all to Him.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. (1 Corinthians 13:11)
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14)

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