This week, it’s my pleasure to hand this space over to my newly-turned-16-year-old daughter, Hannah. She has some very insightful thoughts as she now sits on this side of her birthday. Perhaps they’ll bless you … WHATEVER your age.
Blessed in HIS Way,
I’ve been thinking allot lately. I’ve been thinking about what it would be like when I turned sixteen; how I would feel, if I would act differently. I thought turning sixteen would be a life changing moment. That from May 13, 2015 on, I would be so much more mature and more prepared for the world. I thought that it would automatically make me into this graceful young woman who would be able to drive confidently, make hard decisions and stay motivated to do things. I would be a person whom other people would see as more grown up.
Of course, that didn’t, and can’t, really happen. There was no way that one day, the anniversary of my birth, could make me any different. Growing up is a slow and steady process. It doesn’t come all at once. We become more mature everyday when we make wise decisions or do something better than the last time. When we bravely try something new. Deep down, I knew that turning sixteen wouldn’t really make me the perfect, confident driver or decision maker. I knew that just being called a sixteen-year-old doesn’t make any actual change. It may help boost my self image and I’d tell myself I’m much older, but it wouldn’t make me any different.
I also know that sixteen isn’t the top of the totem pole. I’m still very young and have a lot more life to live. It’s so funny, when I was younger, I would look up to the sixteen-year-old kids at church and think they were so old! Almost adults! They knew exactly what to do and I looked up to them a lot. Now that I’m sixteen, though, I don’t feel old at all. I don’t feel like eight-year-old-me thought I would feel as a sixteen-year-old. Now I look up to the college-age kids. But I’m also realizing that no matter how old you are, you can still be immature.
I think it’s like that for everyone. When you’re a young mom, you look up to the moms of high-school-age kids. When you’re a mom of high-school-age kids, you look up to the empty-nesters and so on. I think that even the oldest generation, the grandparents and great-grandparents, look back on the lives of their parents and think about how young they feel.
Maybe that’s how God intended it. Maybe He wants us to respect our elders always, even when we ourselves are the elders. It helps us respect Him more.
I know that when I look back on this when I’m a mom myself, I’ll think how young I was. “Wow! Sixteen! I thought I was so mature! I was so young.” I do think I’m mature in some ways, but in other ways I still have a lot to learn. That’s how it will always be. I’ll feel so mature in some ways and still very young in others.
The Bible has some very insightful verses about maturity:
Ephesians 4:14-15 ESV
So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ …
1 Corinthians 14:20 ESV
Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.
2 Peter 3:18 ESV
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
The central theme of these verses is that we should strive to become more mature Christians. We should try to become more like Christ the more we get to know Him. God will help us through this walk of life and, if we sincerely ask Him, He will help us focus on the main goal; living eternally with Him in Heaven.
We should always remember that what we accomplish in this life isn’t what really matters. What matters is that we give glory to God in everything we do; whether we’re sixteen, sixty or one hundred and six. Like the verse in 2 Peter says, “to Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”