So often I have felt that I have come to understand a principle that previously eluded me only to find myself with a feeling of strangeness as if I have begun
a new course instead of simply taking another step.
Like the baby who thinks being able to walk is the answer to getting his hands on everything he wants, my understanding of my needs and
the answers is limited by my stage/age in life. Like the baby, I am right, but I am also wrong.
These feelings draw me back to a time in elementary school when I was in the sixth grade and coming up on the time to be “promoted” to the seventh grade.
Our teacher constantly reminded us during my
sixth grade term that everything we had learned up
to this point would be necessary for us to enter
and survive the “junior high and high school” years.
As the sixth grade wound down all too quickly,
I found myself wanting to go forward and be
“grown up”, BUT NOT wanting to enter into the
unfamiliar situation and environment that would
encourage that growth. I knew that I had
probably NOT learned everything I was
supposed to in order to be able to function on
the next level.
I also realized that I would be
coming into contact with new people . . .
eighth and ninth graders . . .
who knew the ropes and the likelihood of
my making a fool of myself was great!
I do not remember the summer between
sixth and seventh grades –
I remember the FEAR!
I wasn’t sure how I would fit into this new situation;
the old one had become so comfortable.
I knew how to act, I knew what was expected of me,
I knew how I fit into the scene and
I was looked up to by 1st-5th graders.
All that would be wiped away when I . . .
entered the seventh grade.
Even now, the intensity of these emotions lingers.
I think these same feelings come
as the experiences of life “promote” us
from one stage to another.
When we move into new depths of understanding,
we find ourselves floundering –
not comfortable with our new way of thinking,
not knowing automatically the proper
response in light of our new understanding,
and feeling afraid of the people we will meet
and what they will think of us and our way of
thinking. Then, we seem to gradually begin to
see how our thoughts and understandings fit
into our lives and . . . you guessed it,
WE GET PROMOTED AGAIN!
We find ourselves faced with
new learning experiences and new understandings
and all of a sudden we are not comfortable
with our thoughts or with others.
And so it seems to go as we make our
way through the “stages of life”,
as God continues to guide us to new levels of
understanding, as He continues to help us
develop the skills needed to advance in our
walk toward intimacy with Him—
. . . the Stages . . .
. . . . . . . the Ages . . .