I have often said, “I wish I knew as much as I thought I did when I was 19”. If we were to go back and time and meet with that younger version of me. He would probably tell you that the 50 year old version of himself, will be fully mature, a spiritual giant, and a world changer. I think the other thing he would have said is that he would have arrived. He was wrong.
The more I moved along the spiritual journey, the more I realized how much further I had to go. I had not arrived. In many regards the destination seemed a greater distance away. It was like someone had flipped the telescope and everything seemed a little more out of reach.
A number of years ago I read Larry Crabb's book, Inside Out. I don't remember much about the book except for one idea. He expressed the idea that spiritual maturity is not so much about arriving at a destination, but about the process or the journey. His key idea, or at least it was to me, was that along the path of maturity is often just a deeper awareness of how much further you need to go.
As we have gone through this series of messages on the Way of Jesus, all the statements have an “ing” word in them like – following, being, learning, helping and participating. It's interesting to note that three of the seven statements have the word learning. We are to be life-long learners.
Charles Swindoll tells a story of being picked up at the airport on one of his many speaking engagements. His driver that day was an older man that he had known for years. Chuck was making pleasantries and asked the man how he was doing. He was expecting some of the typical answers that people give like: “I'm fine, how about you?” or “Good, thanks for asking”. But the elderly man's response surprised him, it was, “I'm learning and growing”.
I like that. It serves as a reminder to me that as I am following Jesus and I am being sent to bless others, I am always learning. Learning to be like Jesus. Every morning when I wake up, class starts again, Jesus and His word are my teachers, The classroom is life, and the curriculum he uses is wide an expansive. Jesus sends me lessons every day through people, and circumstances. If you were to ask me how I'm doing, the answer is “I am learning and growing.”