Press on

Published 12:50 pm Monday, July 17, 2023

“Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” — Matthew 18:3 (NKJV)

Is it not strange that the adherents of Christianity, a faith-based religion that requires us to be radically changed to be members, are the very ones who are the most resistant to future change, the most resistant to doing new things, and maybe most troubling, the least likely to let those things that have run their course die?

It is as though when we are “accepted” into the fold that we are forever bound in that point in time, nothing, from that point on can change. Our churches are often full of things, now useless, that were given by someone’s dear departed loved one, having been given for a real purpose, they now lie dusty and deserted in a pitiful attempt to cling to the past. Jesus said we must become as little children, they have little or no thought for the past, they are looking ahead to what they will do next, what new adventure they will experience as they live and grow.

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That’s the key, little children grow, we as Christians should, must, grow. We must always be moving forward, looking, searching, for what God is inviting us to do. Ever vigilant for the “new” opportunity that God lays at our door, we should not be reluctant to let go of unproductive ministries if they cannot be revived.

Again, from little children we learn a valuable lesson from one of their playground devices, the “monkey bars.” In order to be successful at navigating the monkey bars a couple of skills are needed. You must be able to reach out and hold on until it is time to let go as you grasp the next rung and move forward, reach out and hold on, reach out and let go. Like little children, growing as we move forward, not clinging to the past but straining for the future, for the new thing that God has for us.

Instead of the grumpy old men and women most of us become, let us be as Jesus’ little children, joyfully and boldly embracing life and its challenges. We must grasp the present, and reach for the future; Paul said it best, let us “press on.”

The Rev. Bobby Thornhill is a retired pastor.