Crosswalk Column: Growing Up is a Good Thing

By Daniel Darling

Below is my latest Crosswalk Column:

Growing Up is a Good Thing

As a father of three young kids, I’m never at a loss for laughs. Every single day, one of my kids does or says something so funny that Angela and I burst out in laughter. My son, Daniel, is a year-and-a-half old and can say like three words. So he usually points and grunts when he wants something.

One night at dinner, he was doing his “pointing and grunting” thing. But I couldn’t figure out what he wanted. His drink? No. Pacifier? No. More food? No.

I think I grabbed everything within a five-foot-radius. Finally I picked up the blue lid to the mayonnaise container. Daniel stopped pointing and grunting. All Daniel wanted to do was feel the texture of this lid.

The other day we were praying for a friend with some financial woes. Grace began her prayer, “Jesus, help our friend steal money.” She was totally sincere.

We get such a kick out of our kids. Who needs comedy? We get it every day in the Darling house. When kids are five and 1 and four months, they do funny, foolish, dumb things that make you laugh.

But I want to get serious for a second. Fast forward ten years. Imagine Daniel is still pointing and grunting. It probably wouldn’t be funny. It would be sad and we’d wonder if he had some kind of disability.

Imagine Grace is still asking God for our friends to steal money. We’d wonder if she learned anything.

And if Emma is still cooing, not able to sit up, and cries to be held every five minutes—well we’ve got a problem.

What’s my point? My point is that its good to grow up. God loves children. And even in our faith, we should come to God as a child, with humility, dependence, and Grace.

But God’s heart is also for us to grow up spiritually. And yet sometimes young people get the message that maturity, responsibility, and hard work are not cool. Commercials and sitcoms broadcast the virtues of irresponsibility, that works is a drag only for money, and life is one big happy beach party.

Even the church does this. As long as you “love Jesus” you can be immature and delay big choices. But growing up is good. Being responsible is good. Hard work is good.

That doesn’t mean the end of fun, the end of laughter, the end of a good time with friends. But it means we take this short life God has given us and pursue His divine calling. That we get serious about serving Him and becoming an agent of change in the world.