In my experience, the most profound conversations with your children take place in the car. A few weeks back, as I was winging my way around the greater Memphis area shuttling kids, running errands and generally saving the planet, a little voice piped up from the backseat. "Mommy, what will it be like when I go to Kindergarten next year?" This is a conversation I've had two prior times. No sooner had the words dropped from her lips than my heart began to ache. Experience taught me what she was really asking.
After a brief explanation of what Kindergarten is like, I gently probed as to why she was asking about school. "Because, Mommy, I'm scared to go there." My ache erupted into an all-out throb as I anticipated that soon-coming fall day when another love of my life would pass through the doors marked, "Elementary" but are no such thing for the brave little child who walks through them.
This morning's passage is Hebrews 6. As this chapter opens, I read these words, "Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity." Leaving a familiar place is always difficult. Whether moving physically to a different city, changing jobs or professions, ending a toxic friendship or progressing spiritually, "leaving" can evoke a wide range of feelings and emotions.
As I pondered times I've been reticent to "leave" where I was in my faith, I realized my hesitation is no different than the reasons Clara has a level of anxiety about entering Kindergarten.
- I Won't Know Anyone - Leaving requires change. The most significant change is often relational. This is also true as I progress spiritually. There is a certain apprehension that accompanies moving on spiritually. Spiritual maturity can be a lonely place where it can feel like "no one else is doing it." To this fear, Jesus whispers in my ear, "I am here, loved one. I will walk with you as you take steps of faith. You will not be alone." Who better to have as my traveling companion.
- I Don't Know What to Expect/I Don't Want to Change - It is easier to stay the same than to change. In fact, I have heard it said that no person will change until the discomfort associated with staying the same outweighs the anxiety about the change. Many business books have been penned on this very topic, teaching managers how to manage through changes in organizational structure or strategy. My own misgivings might be the hardest to oversee however. What is really behind those doors marked, "Elementary" or "Next Step of Faith"? As my imagination runs willy nilly, Jesus whispers in my ear, "I am completely trustworthy. Believe that I want the best for you and am leading you somewhere you truly want to go. Let me be your change manager" Who better to manage my change?
Jesus, I don't have to muster up my own courage to leave the elementary teachings and go on to maturity. You are with me. You will lead me. You are trustworthy. Today I choose to go with You because the pain of staying the way I am far exceeds my apprehension about becoming the woman You want me to be.