Life is full of seasons. One way to help a young mother through the hard days of teething babies or the “terrible twos” is to remind her that “this too shall pass.” It’s just a season of life. It doesn’t last forever.
I was reminded this past week that this adage has its limits.
One of my nieces posted a picture of a new washer and dryer. She proclaimed that her excitement over this new purchase marked her official entry into adulthood. I smiled as I saw the picture of her hugging the new machine. “She’s only just begun,” ran through my mind.
What I posted was a bit different: “You know the only problem with being an adult…it doesn’t end and neither does the wash…until you go to be with Jesus!”
There was no “this too shall pass” (unless it was the excitement) or, “there’s something after adulthood.” No, being an adult is it — the climax – or anticlimax, in this thing called life. While I could mull over the “stages” in adulthood, which seem to increase depending on one’s desire to avoid the ultimate “senior” adult, there’s really no getting around it.
Once you’re an adult, that’s it. You’ve got to face the fact that you’ve reached the age of accountability, and you can’t run home to Mama any more or borrow Dad’s car. Don’t dwell on this too long, as it can be quiet depressing.
So, here I am at my “mid-life” age still in wonder that I’ve got grown children, much less ones who don’t really need me anymore. Not only am I an adult, but they are too. Wow, it’s amazing. Just like our kids grow up in the blink of an eye, all of a sudden, you realize that you’ve been an adult much longer than you were ever a kid, and you may still have a long way to go in this state of being.
What do I do with my adulthood? Just like my niece with her washer, I’ve decided to embrace it. I’m part of a “hood” that understands me and accepts me, wrinkles, aches and all.
If I’m firmly rooted, body, soul and mind, in my adulthood, am I living as an adult spiritually, or still a child in my relationship with God and his Word? The writer of Hebrews was not pleased with those who should have proved themselves mature in the faith:
In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.*
Doing the wash is a part of being a responsible adult. It never stops until life stops. The joy of completing the task is fresh, clean clothes and job well done. Being in God’s Word should not be drudgery, but joy, knowing that his Word equips us for the life to which we’re called in Christ. You can’t leave it to someone else — you’re the adult now, do what’s required to know right from wrong and keep sin at bay.
Have you reached the greatest stage of life — physically and spiritually? Embrace the “Hood” and stand strong till the end. There is some good news in all this talk on adulting — there’s another life to come, and we get new bodies!
Grace and Peace
*Hebrews 5:12-14 (NIV)
*Photo credit: My niece.