Sunday, July 31, 2005
Maturity, yeah, maturity
Opening caveat: I'm taking a break from studying Hebrew to write this... for 3 reasons, 1) I think I've developed adult onset ADD - I can't sit still for more than 30 minutes without getting ansy 2) I'm trying to create a good habit of blogging 3) Since yesterday, this has been floating in my head and I need to write about it. That being said, here goes.
So, I'm picking blueberries yesterday, at Terhune Orchards which I would highly recommend if you're in the Princeton area. And blueberries just happen to be my ultimate favourite fruit. (yes, I spelled favourite correctly - check the OXFORD dictionary) So anyway, as I could write an entire entry about Blueberries - which I'm sure are God's chosen antidoate to the forbidden fruit, or about spelling things correctly (that may come some day), but I must not get sidetracked.
Back to the story, picking blueberries. Anyway, I notice that most of the good blueberries, the bigger ones, juicier, tastier ones, they're not right there on top of the vine/bush (whatever it is). They're not, for the most part, right their in plain view. Instead, most of the really good ones are hidden in the vine/bush. They're out of sight, ripening away, not getting much notice. And this makes sense. You see, people picking fruit want the ripest, best stuff, that is most accessable. So they go after what's out there in plain view, leaving those underneath to ripen and mature.
I got to thinking about this, and I realized that this has profound implications for our own maturing. Those that show promise early, are often moved to the forefront, put on stage and generally taken early. Whether that be in sports or whatever. Problem is, these people don't always have the opportunity to fully mature. Instead, you've got other people, in the shadows, maturing in obscurity, waiting for the RIGHT time to shine. Now this is coming from someone who doesn't just gravitate towards the spotlight, I literally force my way onstage and bring my own light. Well, not always, but definitely more than I should. Problem with this is, when you're in the public light, always having to "perform", you don't have time to build character. You don't have time to build a firm foundation, for when the lights are off. And when they eventually do go off, you don't always know what to do.
But those people that have waited, honing their craft, preparing, maturing in relative obscurity, those people are the ones that have real character. Those are the people that when the chips are down, they don't fold, they don't even bluff, they simply have the cards to win! (I could go on with the poker analogy, but one analogy per post is enough). I need so desperately to develop that character. Because when I look at myself in the mirror, I know that there are parts of me that are shallower than a bathtub drawn by your grandmother. I am selfish, lazy, egotistical, stubborn and completely lacking in self-control. And yet, I want so badly to be a leader. But what kind of leader does that make? Leaders like that simply make selfish, lazy, egotistical, stubborn followers! What a failure that would be.
So, I need to be reminded of the subtitle of this blog, my blog mission statement essentially. I need to remember not to put on a front, to be honest, not just here, but out there, where it counts. I need to take some steps back, back into a little obscurity. I need to do some foundation building, some brick laying. I need to take some time out, not for myself, but for God. Sometimes people ask why you need to go to seminary to be a pastor, why spend 3 years getting an MDiv, after 4 years spent getting a BA, why jump through all the hoops to get ordained? Why not just go out preaching and teaching and allowing the Holy Spirit to work through you and bear fruit? Well, I've got this answer: Jesus spent 30 years preparing for 3 years of ministry. I need one heck of a lot more maturing than that, trust me...