When does anyone actually grow up? I’m not sure that I have yet. Nor my father when your name is mentioned. And I sometimes I don’t think I want my nieces and nephews to grow up … although I wouldn’t want them acting like selfish, infantile adults either.
The young guy on the bus was there again today. James (should be easy to remember since this is what I’m reading). He sees me and comes bounding up to say “Hi!” and collapse into the seat beside me. He’s a little like a Labrador pup without the tongue hanging out – big, oversized feet; baggy clothing over a gangly body that he’s yet to fill out; and an animated face looking for any response that it might draw from yours. Ready to interact, ready to enjoy life, enthusiastic.
“Where’s the lady?” he asks, looking around him. “That’s two days she hasn’t been here. She’s always here. Even before she started talking to you all the time.”
“I don’t know. Maybe she’s on holidays.”
“Holidays? No. She doesn’t need holidays, she’s old. It’s not like she’d still be working.”
“She might. It’d be pretty boring sitting at home all day. She looks pretty fit. Maybe she’s visiting family. Maybe she’s sick.”
“I think we should pray for her.” he says. And he does. On the bus. Full of people. Be not ashamed. So I join him.
“Guess what!” he says when he finishes. “I bought a book.”
He pulls a book out of his bag about knowing and telling the gospel, together with a leaflet about a course by a Christian group on campus about sharing the gospel. “And see,” he adds, “they’re running a course. How’s that for an answer to prayer!”
I tell him how fantastic I think this is and how I want to hear all about what he’s learning – which I do, but then tell him that now is my stop and I have to get off or catch buses all over the city. He gives me a blank look and I tell him I’ll tell him tomorrow.
Work looked like it was going to be uneventful – and was for most of the day. Except lunch. Kelly and I were in the lunch room talking about what we had planned for the weekend – mine’s full of family since Emily & Jasmine are sleeping over on Saturday night, Kelly’s busy planning a girls’ night out for her best friend – and it sounds like a great fun, she was just reaching her grand finale when
“Scott” Kelly nods.
Then we made the mistake of making eye contact – Kelly, who thought I wasn’t looking finished rolling her eyes.
I held my breath.
“Kelly, did I show you the …”
“No. Not yet.”
And we walked out of the tea room. Down the hall outside, and made for the front entrance, bolted round the corner, started giggling like we were fifteen and could not stop.
Lord, maturity is hard to grow into in this life. Maturity in Christ – I’m glad that you are willing to work with me on that.
Father on reading James, I am reminded of Paul in Philippians who rejoiced in the opportunity to suffer as Christ did for the sake of the gospel, an opportunity to grow more like Christ. Father James speaks also of joy in facing trials because the testing of our faith develops perseverance – a perseverance that must finish its work that a Christian may be mature and complete and not lack anything. It seems to me that these writers are saying very similar things – if not the same. Lord help me learn to stick by faith in you and develop perseverance and to consider this a joy even when it comes in the form of trials and troubles. Father I want to be mature in you. It is hard enough to become mature in this earthly life all the time – please make me mature in the new way that you are teaching me day by day.
Lord you say that if I lack anything – like wisdom (especially wisdom) – I can ask you for it and you will give it to me. You say that I need to ask without doubt – as a single minded, single-souled follower and not someone who will not commit my life entirely to you. Father, I don’t want to be like the double-souled, double hearted person with one eye on your goal and the other somewhere else. Please grant me your wisdom that I might become mature in you.