When I grow up… Look, See, Pray

Sunset over Barcelona

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Some would say I haven’t grown up yet- but they’re just jealous of my good looks and endless energy (cough).

It is a fair question- and shouldn’t be limited to those slightly awkward conversations between adults and kids. Face it, all grown-ups are still a work in progress! If I haven’t grown in the last year, I’m stagnant… and stagnant stuff usually goes smelly and becomes less pleasant.

I took the photograph over the distant hills of Spain as the sun set gloriously and the clouds drew silhouettes over the ball of fire sinking in the west. Sunsets are gorgeous, even the “ordinary” ones, and this one promised fine weather to come on the next day. That promise was fulfilled. Old sayings like “Red at night, shepherd’s delight” have a root in long experience.

We can’t take a new day for granted. It is almost a year ago that “routine” medical tests gave warning of a problem; and triggered more tests, ending with the words “I’m afraid it is cancer. We need to operate…

That process ended well with successful surgery. But it has left me aware of the fact that one day all the growing up opportunities will end… and we will be what we actually are. What do I want to be when I’m done with growing up? Mature…? but that sounds like a lump of Cheddar!

“Proverbs” is part of the Old Testament, the collected wisdom and insight of a people who faced life head on. Full of joy, tragedy, hope, regret – and God.

Proverbs 21 v21 says “A man who tries to be good, loving and kind finds life, righteousness and honour.”

Rather than talk about ambitions, dreams, failures and success as if life was a permanent election broadcast (perish the thought- we have had a basinful of that guff in recent times!) I’ve come to think that when (not if) I grow up it would be rather wonderful if other people said of me… Richard is a man who tries to be good, loving and kind and has found life, righteousness and honour.”

After all, a simple life lived with God’s help, loving Him and my neighbours ought to be ambition enough- and it’s own reward.

Micah 6:8 (Message)
But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what GOD is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: do what is fair and just to your neighbour, be compassionate and loyal in your love, and don’t take yourself too seriouslytake God seriously.


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