Growing older … or growing up?


‘I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.’

John 21:18 (NLT)

Anyone who deals with children will tell you that they have minds of their own.  Especially toddlers; they are usually so fixed on their ideas that they resist all attempts to reason with them. Usually, for such children, laughter or mild irritation and a conclusion that they will outgrow it is in order. Truth is, nobody expects any sort of responsibility from children and nobody gives them any.

When these things were said to Peter, Jesus was referring to the kind of death he would die but I believe it also applies to life. As time goes on, growth demands that priorities change. The phrases ‘my own boss’, ‘I gotta be me’ and such like no longer apply. Growth demands a certain death of self-dependence and a new kind of life. In a world where self-dependence is praised and sought after, this is unheard of. But the paradox of growth is that, growing up means more dependence on others – making them star actors as well on the stage. For children and babies – even teens, not recognizing this fact is accepted but for grown-ups – incomprehensible.

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