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If you are a parent you know the joy as well as the pain of watching your child grow up. Lisa and I were just talking about this last night. We remember the days when we would bathe our kids, tuck them in bed, read them a story and say their prayers. The next day we would start all over again with an innocent and clean slate.
Not anymore. Now their struggles are more serious and significant. They don’t disappear every day. Train a child in the way he should go and he will walk in it. Well… the training part is over pretty much. Now it’s watching them walk it out. And as our kids advance into adulthood and independence, we have to let go and let them walk their own paths. Our hearts rejoice and break so many times I’ve lost count. It would be easier to remain the strong autocratic parent who maintained a safe protective control of his children. But those days are gone.
You know, sometimes I wonder if we don’t treat the church the same way. The risks of letting it grow up is frightening. To let something mature beyond our control is extremely unsettling. To admit that we no longer can determine its future can be very sad. But this is what is required of those who birth something and raise it.
There comes a time when you have to let it go. There comes a time when you have to let yourself be surprised by how it turns out. There comes a time when we have to allow our disappointment be overcome with our wonder in its development.
There comes a time we have to stop letting our sentimental nostalgia get in the way of the church’s maturity.