When I grow up I want to be an adult. Don’t misunderstand me, its not that I didn’t enjoy my childhood – or that I have it out for young people. And I haven’t even seen Benjamin Buttons, mainly because the premise terrifies me, so don’t think it has anything to do with Brad Pitt either. No, mainly the reason I say this is because as I age I am becoming more convinced of two things.
The first is that I like grown ups who “act” like adults. Again, please don’t misinterpret what is being said here. I’m not saying I like it when grown ups are boring, regimented and responsible. In fact many of my favorite grown ups are few or none of these things. Rather what I mean by adult – is someone who has reached a peace about who they are, what they are good at, and what God is calling them to be. Maybe that’s being a great parent, or a loving spouse. Maybe it’s more about a job or a pastime, but they have embraced who and what they were created to be and they are living in it. This type of people are confident, mature and usually happy – it’s because they know they have a purpose – and they find their joy in fulfilling it.
The second thing I am convinced of is a bit more complicated. The dictionary defines an adult as someone who is fully grown or developed. In light of such a definition I find it fair to assume that becoming an adult in anything more than a physical sense is inherently impossible. Mentally, emotionally, relationally – you and I are always growing, changing and maturing from our experiences. In a sense we will never be fully developed or grown in any of those areas if and until we reach perfection in the life after this one. And I’m ok with that. In fact it’s part of what I love about being human. The experience of growing up. It reveals things about each one of us – and gives us opportunities to change and grow in ways that we see fit. It’s also something that everyone has to experience on their own. No one can grow up for you – not even your mom, no matter how hard she tries.
It’s because of my fondness for the process and my desire to keep growing until the day I cease to live on this earth, that I can confidently say that I never plan to fully grow up – until I reach my final destination and am awakened to live in the perfect state which my Creator always intended. When I do – I’m sure I’ll be an adult – and I’m sure I won’t find it boring in the least. But until then I pray that I can embrace each day I have left with the excitement of a child spouting off what they want to be when they grow up. My wife still tells me all the time she wants to be a firefighter when she grows up – and the joy on her face as she talks about is something I would love to have in every area of my life. It’s something I’m working towards – and will be – until I grow up.