Packing Theology: It's Hard to be a Grown-Up

Over the past five years in Natchez, I've enjoyed living in close proximity to my parents. Only a two-hour drive away, they have made frequent visits. However, it did not take me long to recognize a trend as they drove into town. Out of the car would come a variety of items from their house. Those items somehow managed not to go back into the car.

As I've packed boxes the past few weeks, I've come across all of these items and began taking an informal inventory of them. Included are:

25 drinking glasses (in a variety of shapes & sizes)
A collection of Christmas China (I quit counting after the 16 plates)
10 stuffed animals
15 dolls
3 lamp shades
2 of my baby teeth
.... And a partridge in a pear tree...

Actually, they never brought a partridge, but all of the counting did make me wonder if I were living out "The Twelve Days of Christmas."

Needless to say, I was not surprised when they called last week to schedule a time for a "delivery." This time, my childhood bed was the newest addition to the inventory. People have said to me, "Why are you moving things in while trying to move out of the house?" The answer is simple: "These things belong to me. My parents have taken care of them, but now I'm responsible for them."

My two best friends from college and I often joke that it's hard to be a grown-up. So much responsibility. So many decisions to make. So much "stuff" entrusted to our care. Maturity, age, and wisdom are not always easy. However, growth also produces joy. As I went through these items, I reminisced fondly on the dolls and stuffed animals from childhood. At the same time, I anticipate using the dishes that my parents have passed along to me for my new home.

In I Corinthians 13, the famous "love chapter" oft-quoted at weddings, Paul writes: "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became an adult, I put away childish things." To mature in love is not just about being patient, long-suffering, and kind. To love involves "growing up." In growing up, we are called to take responsibility for what God has entrusted to us. I have many items for which I must care, and it takes time and effort to do so. In the same manner, we are called to put time and effort into caring not just for our material blessings but for the spiritual blessings God has given us.

Let us take inventory not just of what's in our closets but what's in our hearts. And let us search for the love and joy that come with growing in our relationships with God. Who knows what treasures we will uncover as we care for one another as God cares for us.

all good things to each of you,
Pastor Darian