The Pains of Growing and Outgrowing

Many of you have been kind to share my excitement about our twin granddaughters. They are a little over two years old now and they are running and climbing and talking and showing themselves to have strong opinions not always shared by the adults. They are growing.

They’ve outgrown the baby swings and the quilts we used to lay them on where they would stay put. Recently they moved from high chairs to booster seats. They’ve outgrown their clothing several times in two years. We wouldn’t want it to be any other way.

This Sunday our Lent theme is around the idea of growing in faith and discipleship. The scripture we’ve chosen is the one in Acts 2 where after the big preaching event on the day of Pentecost, we find the believers all together in an idyllic picture of meeting together daily in the Temple and in their homes. They prayed and shared food. They took care of each other’s needs. Luke said it was like days of awe and wonder.

And, he added that God increased the number of people in the community.

But soon they would have to outgrow any notions of idealism. This peaceful state wouldn’t last for many pages in the stories Luke wrote about the early believers. Some of the problems would come from without the church and some from within. Between cultural and political pressures outside the group and figuring out how to be together from within, the church struggled. As it still does.

Meeting together for praying and sharing our lives can still help us grow. Keeping less money and stuff for ourselves so we can share with others is still like vitamins for the soul of individuals and people. And thankfully that continues among believers to this day. And so God continues to work in our lives in these ways.

It’s also true that with the passing of time we outgrow ways of thinking and doing; sometimes the old clothing of our discipleship no longer fits. It was good for then but not now. And then there are those things that we should be outgrowing, but somehow we have a hard time doing it.

I’ve got my own list of things that I need to outgrow. Here are a couple of them:

  • Making assumptions about what people think or feel. Sure I can read cues and sure sometimes I know people well enough to make a good guess. But I should outgrow any tendency to think that I am clairvoyant! This may be generally called being a know it all.
  • Feeling the need to answer quickly when someone is expressing a feeling or an idea that I don’t want them to have. Ruth Bader Ginsburg says sometimes the best response is no response. I would add that sometimes a good response is to listen closely and then ask more questions.

So what’s on your list of things to outgrow? It would be great to see you in DiscipleChurch this Sunday where I will talk a little more about these things and give you a chance if you like, to make your own list of things to outgrow.

We will be in Leonard Chapel at 8:30 am waiting to welcome you.

Charme Robarts
Community Advocate


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