I was watching an old “Leave it to Beaver” television show the other day and a phrase struck me, because it applies to me.
Beaver (the little 9-year-old boy), was having to deal with a fear in his life. His mother said to the father (Ward), “But he is 9 years old, he should be past that (fear) by now”. To which the father replied, “No matter what your age, there is always something you have to outgrow.”
When I heard that it immediately touched something inside of me, because I understand the principle as applied to my life. I remember being a young man in my late teens and thinking, “I’ll be glad when I am older and don’t have to have all of these struggles.” Of course I had no idea what life was about at that time. My “Big” problems then are insignificant as I look back on them.
One of the things I have learned through the years is life is all a matter of faith. It’s what you believe… what you really believe… that directs your thoughts, decisions and actions in life. It is our faith structure in our lives that determines what is really important to us at any given instance. And once that faith structure is in place, (most of the time), we don’t face the problem of deciding at the last moment whether an action, a decision, a stand we take, is right or wrong in our life.
Now having said that, I know that is a “Great Generalization,” because as the father in the television show said, “No matter what your age, there is always something you have to outgrow.”
Each of us have some level of faith, some greater than others, not everyone is the same in this area. That’s why one of my favorite passages is Mark 9:22. In this passage a man is asking Jesus for help, explaining about the problem his son having with seizures. Look at what happened as he explained: “The evil spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can. “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
I kind of like this modern paraphrase of this section of scripture that says, “If you can do anything, do it. Have a heart and help us!”23 Jesus said, “If? There are no ‘ifs’ among believers,” (MSG). This sounds kind of like the Star Wars character Yoda speaking to Luke Skywalker doesn’t it, he said, “There is no try… there is only do or do not.”
I wish I were that mature and that my faith was that strong all of the time, but it’s not. I know that God has a plan for my life and that he is in control, but some times I let a little doubt creep into my heart. Because, “no matter what your age, there is always something you have to outgrow.” The problem is that some choose to stop growing. Some choose to pull back in their shell of safety and comfort and not grow to be what God intends for them to be. I’m still struggling and I’m trying my best to grow into what God has in mind for me. I believe, God, help me to overcome my unbelief.
Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is semi-retired and an elder at the Mid-County Church of Christ. He can be reached at email@example.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.