Been Thinking About Maturity

I had an uncomfortable evening last night. We watched a video for our “Church Night” here at camp. It was about maturity.

Things started out well, because it was clarified that adolescence is a stage of life that has been widening to include a much greater span in age, and can now reach to the age of 35. Just think – you can be almost 40 years old, and still be considered an “adolescent”!

This was good news for me, because Ben and I are turning 33 this year, and we’ve kind of been having a crisis around here. I mean, we’re almost 35, for crying out loud, and when you’re 35, you’re almost 40, and when you’re 40, you’re terribly close to 50, which is uncomfortably close to 60, which means that you’re almost ready to retire, and we haven’t even figured out exactly what we want to do with the rest of our lives, which will soon be over!

We feel very old. Which I’m sure sounds ridiculous to people who are older than us. But to us, 33 is kind of a big deal.

I’ve been feeling old. But last night, I was excited to hear that I’m still included in the “adolescent” age bracket.

The uncomfortable part is that I’ve thought of myself as a fairly mature adult for quite some time, but as I watched that video last night, I had a bit of a wake-up call.

You know those times when you get a bit of a (needed) slap in the face, a very timely reminder that you have some work to do? That was last night for me.

(If you’re really curious by now about what kind of video we watched, you can find out more about it here. It was the first video in a series by Donald Miller called “Convergence”.)

What struck me the most were the definitions.

Immaturity is asking life to meet our demands, while maturity is being able to meet the demands of life.

Dr. Henry Cloud was talking with Donald Miller about how children think that the world revolves around them, and that everything should happen in the way that they want. But as we strive for maturity in our own lives, we need to be able to meet life’s demands, and help to solve the problem, rather than add to it with our inappropriate responses, making the problem worse.

This hit me so hard, because just recently, I was in an extremely annoying situation, and I got very angry. A long day, a massive headache, and not enough sleep definitely contributed to my inability to respond in a mature way, but seriously? There was really no excuse for my response.

Let’s face it – in my difficult situation, I expected life to meet my demands. And I got frustrated and annoyed when that didn’t happen, so I made the problem worse with my bad attitude, rather than calmly dealing with the situation life had given me at that moment.

That’s not the way that I want to react. I want to be able to face whatever life gives me with a flexibility and strength that allows me to bend and adjust to any situation. I’ve always wanted to be like the Proverbs 31 woman, who can “laugh at the days to come”. To know that no matter what happens, that I have the God-given strength of character to rise to the occasion.

I love those words – “rise to the occasion”.

So this whole maturing thing obviously doesn’t happen overnight, but at least moments of enlightenment and recognition can get me on my way in my journey.

In the meantime, here’s wishing you all a great weekend. May you rise to every occasion that life brings your way!

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