My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4 (NRSV)
Too often, we mistake growing old for growing up. Growing old has mostly fringe drawbacks once we get past the age of 21. Growing up can continue to amaze and embolden us regardless of our age or condition. Our default position is to grow old, laziness being our original sin. Growing up is the preferred path. But it must be chosen.
We live in a society that begs us to escape, compartmentalize and ignore. None of these has a happy ending, death being what it is.
God offers another track through life; to grow up, to perfect, and to mature. He says that there are inherent rewards in “sticking with it.”
We cheer those who, through great sacrifice, perform inhuman feats on stage, in the area, or on the field. What we don’t see is their sacrificial investment into their life.
What if we cheered those who prevail when everything says to give in? What if we trusted in God enough to try it ourselves? What would change?