“But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19 NASB)
I’m not a big crier, but there are those things that make my “eyes wet” as my daughter would say. Today, as I watched my twins walk down the street for the first time by themselves to catch the bus to school, my eyes got wet. I thought about the fact that they are turning 10 next month and how grown up they seem, especially my son. He is always begging me to allow him to do things by himself. He wants to walk to the bus alone. He wants to ride his bike around the block alone. He doesn’t want me watching or following or hanging around. He’s becoming independent. A part of me is sad because I want to be needed. But a part of me is so happy that he is bold enough to step out on his own. He is fearless or maybe just naïve. But he’s willing to try anything. I love that about him.
I just finished reading the book of Acts and have started on Romans. These books are adventure books. They share the story of Paul and his journey with God. He is one bold guy and gets himself into trouble because of his inability to be quiet. He just has to share even when everyone in charge tells him to be silent. His mouth gets him thrown in prison on more than one occasion. Then he speaks to the highest officials and shares his story. Then he is shipwrecked and shares his convictions with the people there. He never missed an opportunity to live out his calling.
Recently, I realized I kind of had an attitude about Paul. I don’t even know the guy but he was never my favorites because he persecuted Christians. I know that sounds weird but reading through Acts this time made me realize that I didn’t even like Paul, really. But now I see that when Paul was called, he followed. He didn’t even try to go back to his old life. He charged straight away to wherever God led him. If God led him before the leaders, he spoke of Jesus. If he was thrown in prison, he made fellow prisoners his audience. He took his calling seriously and looked at every trial as an opportunity. I have really come to like this guy. He spoke truth and didn’t back down. He lived his life serving God with conviction.
I wonder if Paul’s Mom got wet eyes the first time she heard him preach about Jesus. Did she cry when she realized that the Lord Jesus Christ had gotten a hold of her boy and was not going to let go? Was she ashamed because he was a Jew and he was preaching to Gentiles? I imagine as a boy he was not afraid of anything. Did that drive his mom crazy or was she just as adventurous? These are questions we will never have the answer to. But this thing I know for sure, God gifted Paul with boldness and courage. He gave him a confidence that allowed him to speak truth to those whom no one else was willing to confront. Most of all, Paul lived out his calling. He never questioned what his purpose was. He never asked what his approval rating was. He never allowed someone else’s opinion to sway him. He was stood firmly on the foundation of Christ and preached it until his dying day. That was dedication.
I don’t know what my son has coming in his future. I truly believe that God gives us gifts to use for His glory. But I think too often we are afraid and that fear prevents us from living out our calling. I think that we are not confident that God will pave the way so we decide not to walk that path. I often talk myself out of it because it looks too hard. I am thankful that my son is not like me. I am glad that he is one who considers the unknown an adventure to be tackled not something to be avoided. He is bold. He is unafraid. He is willing. Only the Lord knows what he has for my son. And I have no doubt as I continue to watch him grow, God will reveal that. Someday, as I watch the hand of God leading my son to do the hard things, my eyes will again get wet.