Jason Crane is a very close friend. He’s also a very talented musician and teacher. I recently acquired a baritone ukulele. It has a similar sound to the island style uke, but is deeper. Closer to a guitar sound and a little larger in size. Jason is teaching me to play it. I’m finding how much I lack in talent. At least in that realm. But if anyone can teach me to play it, Jason can. I do so enjoy learning new things.
After being a truck driver for just a short period of time, I had heard one very important piece of advice repeatedly from most of the guys I worked with. Especially the ones that had been driving for a long time. “The moment you think you’ve learned everything, get out of the truck. You’ll be killing someone, dying yourself or both fairly soon,” they had said. You can’t ever get to the place where “you have arrived.” ‘Know-it-alls’ won’t survive. Nobody likes a know-it-all anyway.
Generally, I don’t have this problem because the moment my head begins swelling, someone is inevitably standing there with huge stick pin in hand, smile on their face, just looking for the opportunity to pop my bubble. Which, as painful as it may be, is the way I prefer it. Jesus was the King of Kings and yet very humble. He is my example.
To gain, is important. To grow, an absolute. To embrace the process, is essential. I’ve used this analogy a hundred times, but it’s true. A river that ceases to go forward dies and becomes poison. Not just to itself, but to the area around it. And we are meant to go forward.
Jacob, my youngest, is in the potty training chapter of his life. He’s doing well, but tends to forget to replace his pants after he’s done. Under normal circumstances, it’s not too big of a deal. He’ll wander out into the living room and one of us hops up and get’s him straightened out. However, it’s not so “cool” when he stumbles into the sanctuary looking for help with this issue while we are in the middle of the worship service and the church is full of folks. We have experienced this event twice and are really hoping for no more sequels. Now Jacob is coming along well, but he wasn’t too keen on this idea in the beginning. You know, if I were to allow my son to skip potty training, someday he’d be thirty years old and still wearing Pampers. Big Pampers. A disgusting picture to be sure, but we were never meant to sit still in our growth. We gotta go! No pun intended.
We are like this in all areas of our lives. An employer may higher you without experience. But in a year, you better have some semblance of what’s going on. Your wife is only going to let you get away with forgetting that anniversary so many times before she expects you to show up with flowers and candy. And reservations. I’ve heard that it would take a warehouse of great size full of the most powerful home computers to equal the capacity we have for knowledge in our brains. We have what it takes to increase and develop. True, we use very little of our brains (some less than others), but it’s not just success that’s important.
I am so very thankful God is not expecting me to show up in Heaven all squared away. Success, they say, is in the journey. “Choosing” to grow and striving to move forward is MORE than half the battle. He does want us to go after improvements - even strive for perfection. Every day we have the opportunity to be the new and improved model. That doesn’t mean we become unhappy with who we are, just that we realize that we can grow more and then deciding to do that.
I have met people who have been Christians for twenty years and their growth stopped at five. Then I’ve met some who have been saved only a few years and resemble someone who’s been with Christ for thirty years. Our growth with God is in our hands. We should do something with it.
Matthew R. Davenport, 2008
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I LOVE the way you tied all these different things together, and gave an incredible and important message to boot. This blessed me - and was certainly something I needed to hear. Thank you so much for sharing.