Sunday, August 11, 2013

Perfecting




Most of aging is not fun, quite frankly. Things wrinkle, droop, ache, break, and redistribute in most unpleasant ways. However, one of the few benefits of age is that you can look back and remember how people used to be.

I was a Sunday school teacher for twenty years. About 14 years ago, I taught the 2 year olds at our church. One of them was a brilliant, and headstrong little boy who gave me a run for my money! He was often delightful and so smart that I had to study up before I tried to teach him anything, and he had a radiant smile when he was overjoyed. But, when things didn't go his way, he didn't quite know how to harness all that disappointment. His dad stayed in the class since at times, the teachers were at a loss as to how to help the little guy remain under control. His dad was always gentle, always calm, always soft spoken, and I marveled at how he never seemed flustered by that whirling dervish of a son. He seemed to understand at a gut level that given time and love, that brilliant little boy would grow into his brain and things would settle just as God intended. His mother was just as remarkable, always encouraging, trusting, and guiding. The little boy was not always easy, and I know that there were times of heartbreak, anguishes bathed in prayer.

Yesterday, my husband and I went to hear a benefit piano concert, put on by that young man, now sixteen. He was raising funds for an Eagle Scout Project, and hoped to earn the money by an hour long piano recital where he played Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and Rachmaninoff, among others. He was poised and confident. He played magnificently. After finishing one particularly difficult piece, he stood to bow and burst into a radiant smile. It was the smile I remembered from all those years long ago, when he was particularly pleased, and I almost cried with the joy and wonder of what a magnificent young man he had become.

Not only was I for once happy I was old enough to remember what he had been, but also, encouraged by what the whole span of that young man's life taught me that afternoon. God has a plan, a beautiful wonderful plan for each of us. So many of us (me especially!) fret and worry, knowing how far those in my care have to go to reach goals. I am certain that given where they are now, they will never get there. But God never looks at us that way. God looks at us as how we WILL be one day, when all the perfecting is through... like the pianist' dad who somehow looked beyond the wild and sometimes uncontrolled energy of that little boy to the wonderful young man he knew he would one day be, given the right amount of love and encouragement.

Bravo, my friends, grown-with-God young man and loving parents with such vision and faith.
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Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. (Hebrews 12:1-3, 10-13 NIV)





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1 comment:

  1. he might have been four when I taught him....hmmmm....this is the disadvantage of old age. Memory is not perfect.....

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