Growing Up

It is an expected thing for a man to die once, and then judgment.

There is a time to be born, and another time to die.

Between the two, a period of growing elapses. Growing up. Really, it is fun to grow. It is more fun to not grow. I’ve witnessed testimonies from people who longed for a day or two as being a child. As a child, a lot do not concern you. You don’t need to know why everyone is holding a candlelight and walking in somber silence. You just follow. You don’t need to know the motive behind the kiss from your seven year old classmate. A blush settles it.

Not so for a fifteen year old. Or a mummy.

Does growing up denote a time to stop doing some things and pick up the wonderful habits? “When a child behaves as a child, the adult acts as an adult,” suggests a proverb in Yoruba.

But, is it really so? Is there a time to be an adult and one to be a child? After being an adult, what next?

Your opinion would be based on your viewpoint. A psychologist’s response would differ from that of that of a doctor. Your thirteen year old pudgy neighbor wouldn’t say the same if she were thirty-three.

However, the scripture ringing as I sat to write is this: When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. Signed, Paul the Apostle.

This in a way answers the question. Is there a time to do childish things? Yes. A time to be an adult? Yes.

growing_plant

What elapses in that time? What are the childish things Paul put away? Sucking your thumb? Building sandcastles and addressing them as personal mansions? Whining at dinner for being served coleslaw rather than vegetable salad?

Hardly.

It isn’t necessarily about habits. Like, poof. I want you no more. Nah. Basically, it is a matter of mind transformation. It’s a consensus that our actions originate from our thoughts. It’s logical to agree that the childish things we do germinate from childish minds.

So, what do we do?

We change our minds.

We renew our minds. As the Apostle Paul says, “Be transformed (grow up) by the renewing of your mind.” {Romans 12:2} It was on this note that the man recorded, “I have fed you with milk (you are babies), for you were not able to bear meat (you hadn’t grown), neither yet now are ye able (you still haven’t grown).” {Romans 3:2-3, paraphrased}

So simple.

Was he talking about age? Habits? The food they ate?

It’s a mind stuff. First, a baby. The baby gets his mind fixed on walking, and a toddler emerges. The toddler doesn’t lean on tables and gets strapped to mama’s back, and he becomes a child. When he knows the difference between hot water and cold soda, and he can make the half a mile trek to school, he’s a boy. The boy realizes that he should do his homework alone, and that the girl’s coiffure is pretty, he’s a preteen. And so it goes. New awareness. New age tags. He sees a need to date. Then to get a degree. To hone his skill. To build an empire, or become a sports pro. He marries. A need for a baby arises. Then the essence of raising that baby.

Yes, there’s an age increase – only obvious because of growth.

A mind that doesn’t transform produces a stagnant being. If a musician doesn’t feel the need to extend beyond five scales, though he sings for a dozen years, he’d never be known as a developing artiste.

In a way, our lives are dependent on growth. The goals, the purpose, the pursuit, the learning, growth makes them count. Anyone who does one of these should rejoice, for he is a fruitful mind-user.

In the introducing paragraph, I stated the fun of growing, and the more fun of not. You judge. Is it really fun to not grow?

Afterword: Yesterday in church, my brain got busted when the choir ministered a song that I’d been trying to learn for months. Titled Ebezina (Don’t Cry) by Preye Odede. It’d bless you indeed. Thanks for reading.

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