When my oldest son, Ben was little, he was the cutest thing I’d ever seen. For one thing, he looked like a bobble head doll. You know, one of those little things you stick on the dash of your vehicle? We Brewer’s are known for giant noggins and true to form, Ben’s head was huge. I remember the cold afternoon he was born the doctor decided that Ben should come into this world through “C-section.”. A common procedure these days that almost always happens around 5:00 pm when the Doctor is ready to go home. It seems that doctors tend to discover a minor threat around that hour that usually prompts them to get the show on the road. So out comes Ben’s head. I gasped, “My God, he’s a twenty pounder!”
Although he had only been in this world for thirty seconds he looked to me like he had the developed head of a three year old. I fully expected him to speak and order fast food. But his eyes were closed tight and his cheeks poofed out like he was holding his breath and I couldn’t stand it any longer. “Hello Benjamin Allen Brewer,” I said in my booming voice, “Welcome to Texas.” To my amazement he opened his eyes for the very first time and looked for the source of the voice he had been hearing against his mother’s belly for the past nine months. I would not call it a Kodak moment because I strongly object to husbands taking pictures of their wives giving birth, but it was one of the top ten greatest moments of my life. Then with a good tug and a strange popping sound they pulled Ben all the way out, I was amazed once again. Under that great big head dangled a tiny little body. It was as if my son was a caricature from MAD magazine. Ben weighed a healthy 8 pounds and an ounce but I think six and half of those pounds were from the neck up. It was great!
Ben’s body didn’t stay little for very long. Just last week we celebrated Ben’s fifteenth birthday. He’s just under six feet tall, weighs about 250 pounds and wears a size 15 shoe. For vacations I take him to Colorado where he runs through the snow and we pour plaster in his tracks. It’s a great way to make extra cash from the locals and you know how Texans love to stick it to Coloradans.
Seriously, he has been a real joy to watch grow up. While he is not finished growing and maturing, he is in fact a young man and I would like to forewarn Johnson County ….. he will be driving soon. I would also like to forewarn the devil ….. you should have killed me when you had the chance, you cosmic punk! God made me extra furtile and there is a whole new generation of Brewer’s on the back burner waiting for their chance to give you a black eye.
This week’s column from a highly caffeinated Christian is on the subject of growing up. You might have grown up a lot faster than you wanted. Some of you have down right gotten old over the past few years and part of the proof is that you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from the roller coaster. Fret not! You are supposed to grow up. It may be true that time is a great healer, and a lousy beautician but it is also true that progression is a very, very good thing.
I am encouraging you to progress this year and don’t be afraid to deal with the flack that comes with forward progression. 1 CORINTHIANS 13:11 says, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” While it is good to be childlike in your heart, God wants us to be mature and grown up in our minds. There is a balance at work here.
Let me thump on another bible verse. 1 CORINTHIANS 14:20 says, “Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.” Once again, God is looking for balanced people with the heart of a kid and the mind of a full blown adult. God wants to watch us grow up in the same way we want to watch our kids grow up. There are some actions that are cute when you’re a kid but down right disturbing when you are grown up. Maturity is the process by which we learn the difference.
When Ben was little I took him with some friends to the log cabin village in Fort Worth . I said, “Look buddy, this is what a butter maker looked like a hundred years ago.” Then I pointed to the bed and said, “This is what the bed looked like a hundred years ago.” We fiddled with the antique door knob and I said, “this is what a door lock looked like a hundred years ago.” When I turned around he was on his hands and knees, with his face about three inches off the floor observing something trying to crawl across the room. “What are you doing?” I asked. “I’m seeing what a June bug looked like a hundred years ago.” I thought that was really funny when he was five, but it would upset me if he seriously did that same thing now, at fifteen. While I want him to have and adventurous and fun filled heart, I expect some maturity in his thinking. I believe the Lord looks at us the same way.
When a baby sleeps through the day it is a beautiful thing, but when a dad sleeps instead of going to work it’s not cute, it’s tragic. When a teenager wants to run around with the boys and stir up trouble it’s appropriate, but when he is thirty-five and acts like that he is a curse to his family. When a child spends all his money on impulse it is fitting, but when it’s done by adults, divorce is just around the corner.
No, it really is OK to grow up and growing up requires change. The problem with change is that it requires us to get out of our familiar comfort zones. Let me invite you to let the Lord ‘grow you up’ this year. He has not called you to be comfortable, He has called you to be blessed.
Grow up Joshua, and lets be the people He has called us to be