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Points to Ponder: Little Things Mean...There's Room for Growth
Points to Ponder
Little Things Mean...There's Room for Growth
Our three-year-old, Joanna has been having interesting identity issues. When Marcella tells her that her full name is Joanna Lee Whitmore, she shakes her head sternly and says "No... I'm Joanna". Marcella would then review the family roster of the three other Whitmore's in the house, her parents and her older sister Elizabeth, and then end with Joanna Whitmore. Again, "No... I'm Joanna." I got to wondering if this is how Madonna and Cher started out. That was a frightening thought.
But the rejection of the last name soon passed. She moved on to changing her middle name. She likes Elizabeth's better, so she calls herself Joanna Jane Whitmore. Elizabeth started calling herself Elizabeth Lee in response. Who would have thought that identity theft could start at such a young age?
Then, one night as she climbed aboard her booster seat to be at table level with Elizabeth and me and our board game, she announced, "I don't want to get big." I just smiled and said okay. She emphasized her desire, "I want to stay little." I said okay again, thinking that would suffice.
Joanna, with the determination of a girl who has a vision and goals for her life looked me in the eye and said with all seriousness, "I don't want to be big, Daddy." Again and again this issue had to be dealt with, she insisted. "Don't let me get big Daddy... Make me small."
I'm thinking, "Am I a magician?" She was saying this with the same serious expectation a three-year-old would have about wanting ice cream or a drink of water. "You're the daddy here.... Do something about it."
She emphatically said it again, "Make me small Daddy. I don't want to get big!" So I harkened back to my memories of the original Star Trek when Mr. Spock would put his hands on somebody's face in the Vulcan mind-meld and accomplish whatever. I put my hand on her forehead (with accompanying sound effects) announcing "the Vulcan child grip." With the powers that only a daddy has I zapped her, picked her up from the chair and placed her little body, feet upon the floor, right in front of me, and announced "There! You're small." Seeing there was little evidence to the contrary she toddled away to play with something, satisfied in her vertically challenged state.
As a pastor I have witnessed the emphatic insistence of some "believers" who say "I don't want to get big... I don't want to grow up." They don't say it with the boldness of a three old because they're not that brave. But in a lot of ways we all allow ourselves to be satisfied with complacency in one or more areas of our walk with the Lord. Some of us stopped walking a while ago. We know John 14, that He's "'gone' to prepare a place for you" and we're content to sit and wait until He comes back or sends a cab for us.
I know some people who have had an encounter with the Lord in their comfortable spiritual smallness. The Lord looked at their flabby unexercised faith, put a hand on their hard head and (without sound effects perhaps) did the "Jesus grip" on them. Then He picked them up from their spiritual seat, stood them up before Him and said, "There, you're small!"
BUT, some of those folks really realized something when that happened. "I really am small... I can't stay like this." There is that Name, which is above every name that, has laid claim to you. Did you really lay claim to Him? Are you sure you have eternal life - right now (John 17:3)? If so, how much growth in both wisdom and stature should you be experiencing... should you be pursuing?
I recall waking up one morning and commencing to quietly pray. The Lord spoke to my spirit, "who are you talking to?" How soon we forget how awesome it is to call on the Father, the Almighty One; and that we can call on Him.
Small is good if you are a car in need of a parking space at the mall. But God's people aren't built to stay in park. We're designed to walk and to grow along the way.
Are you arguing with God over an area in which He's pushing you to grow up? To whom are you talking? Have you given that serous thought when you mouth His name or turn to Him in prayer? Dare we defend complacency when God has both called - and empowered - us to step outside the box of the familiar?
If Heaven is the final destination, why do we hold back now?
"He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor." (John 12:25-26 NKJV)
Pastor Whitmore is not affiliated with Picket News, nor does he submit material directly to our publication. We regularly reprint interesting articles found at his public web site, www.fumcl.org, and encourage all readers to visit for similar material.
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