And Now I Am Seven
I have a very unique ability. A superpower, if you will. I can think like a small child. I taught K-5, first, and second grades for many years. Ask me what a five, six, or seven year old is thinking, and I can probably tell you. So let's average that out to six-and-a-half years old. My skill is that I can become a six-and-a-half year old in my thinking any time I want. I pretty much know what their response to a situation will be. I can think like I'm six-and-a-half! Explains a lot, doesn't it? Lol! A small child's mind is, for the most part, pure and honest. They think literally and simply. But one of the most interesting things about how they think is what I want to talk about today. As adults, we know that a six-and-a-half year old has very limited resources. They have lived through few of life's lessons based on their experiences. Even the wisest and smartest among them has a very shallow well of knowledge and wisdom from which to draw. We know that, but they do not. By the time they get to six-and-a-half, they pretty much think that they have this all figured out, and they have life by the horns. And they always make me laugh! They say things like: "In my whooole, entire life, I never saw such a big dog!!!" Or: "When I was just a little kid, I was scared of the dark." As though now they are thirty, and are reflecting back on the time of their youth. But they are six-and-a-half. They will inform you of things so seriously, as though they are quite sure that you don't have a clue and you desperately need the information that they have to impart to you. I could be teaching about God's creation of wild animals. Randomly and unprompted, some child will raise their hand. "Johnny, do you have a question?" "No, Mrs. Olszewski, but I wanted to let you know you that you don't need to be afraid of tigers. They don't live in Charlotte Hall. They just live in the Washington Zoo." Why, thank you, Johnny. Thank you very much. I will, indeed, sleep better tonight, knowing that. :) Because six-and-a-half year olds know everything! Okay, long intro. Short point. I have learned that spiritually, we are just like those six-and-a-half year old children. After nearly fifty years of being saved, I thought I was a fairly mature Christian. I taught others. I knew what it was to love the Lord and be surrendered to Him. I knew how to pray and trust and serve. But then one day, I woke up and realized that I had learned all of those things again. And my new understanding of those spiritual truths and my walk with God made my previous understanding of them feel like kindergarten. Or maybe first grade. I was that child, thinking I knew something, when my journey was just beginning. 1 Corinthians 13:11 - "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." And that's the way with spiritual things. Our goal is to grow and become less child-like. To become a spiritual adult. 1 Corinthians 14:20 - "Brethren, be not children in understanding..." When we get to heaven, I think we're going to laugh at the great spiritual wisdom that we thought we possessed here on earth, just as I laugh at the wisdom of a six-and-a-half year old. So if I were six-and-a-half before, spiritually, then maybe I am now seven. Either way, I have nothing to boast about and a long way to go. I see that very clearly. I know now that I will never truly be a mature Christian until I am in my glorified body and touching Jesus' face. The well is way deeper than I had ever hoped or dreamed. I will run out of years before I ever get anywhere near the bottom. His presence is more powerful and consuming than I ever knew. His love is bigger and more all-encompassing than I could have ever imagined. His interaction with me is so much more personal and intimate and sweet now. I am amazed that I didn't see this before! Ephesians 4:14-15 - "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ." Wow, that's good stuff. I could write about that all day. Oh, to grow up into Him! And so now, I want more. I want to be eight, and then nine, and then ten. I can't imagine what that's going to be like. Because being seven is SO much better than being six-and-a-half. I know what it is now to not fear the next storm. Because in the storm, there is growth. And with growth, you get to this wonderful place in and with Him. You get to be seven.