Week 40 Saturday

Growing Up

Today’s scripture selection: Hebrews 5-7

Key verse: Hebrews 6:1

“Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity….”

Most everyone eventually “grows up” – it’s just some grow up more than others.

Physically – provided our health holds – we grow up physically.  And, with a little help from a few good teachers – hopefully, we grow intellectually.

Spiritual growth – now that can be another matter.

I have known individuals who have grown to a ripe old age physically; have been pretty strong intellectually – perhaps not great scholars – but able to get things done in their chosen vocation in life.  Still, spiritually, they have shown no more maturity than a toddler.

And, I have known just the opposite to be true.

I have delighted in knowing some very young children; or some wonderful teens – who, physically, still have a long way to go to maturation; intellectually – still have much to learn – but who spiritually shine like angels.

There’s a reason there is an old saying about great truth coming “out of the mouth of babes.”  Somehow God uses these little ones to speak great spiritual truths.  And we all benefit from the wisdom they share.

I’ve also known great spiritual sages – those “salt of the earth” types – who don’t have more than a sixth-grade education.

So I don’t think it has much to do with chronological age or how many academic certificates a person hangs on his or her wall.

I think it has to do with eyes of faith; and open minds; and most of all, willing, loving hearts.

Growth is a wonderful thing – and surely part of God’s plan for all of us.  So I invite you to seek it every day of your life.

Grow up: not just physically; not just intellectually; but spiritually.

It’s a wonderful ride.

Prayer: Lord, may I always seek to learn more; understand more; grow more – as your child.  AMEN.


By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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