Text: Luke 19:28-40
As a kid, when grown-ups would ask me that nonsensical/foolish/silly question that adults ask little kids, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I alternated between two responses. Some days I would say that I wanted to be the girl Evel Knievel jumping over cars and canyons on my motorcycle. On other days, I would answer that I wanted to be a famous basketball player. No ballerina, tap dancer, baton twirler, or concert piano player – all activities my mother enrolled me in as a kid– showed up on the screen in my mind’s eye as a viable future. I will say that I regret giving up on the piano lessons; but certainly not any of those other options. Not that there is anything wrong with being a ballerina, tap dancer, baton twirler, and definitely not a concert piano player. And the good lord knows that neither preacher, nor pastor, nor jailbird was in my sights either.
I’m not sure why we ask kids this question. Sure there are those exceptional kids who at two or three say they want to be a firefighter or ballerina or lawyer or doctor or teacher and go on to be that. But most of us at ages two and three and four when we get asked that question are still trying to figure out how to go potty successfully or how to get the food on the fork and in our mouths. What do you want to be when you grow up? Seems more like an adult question to me. But really, how often do you get asked as an adult what you want to be when you grow up. And yet, if we are honest, many of us are all still trying to figure that out to some degree, especially when it comes to who and what we want to be as persons of faith. Do we take on the contemplative life? The life of an activist? Will I worship in a sanctuary with walls or the sanctuary down by Jordan Lake or the one in Umstead Park? When I grow up do I want my faith to be defined by what I believe about God or Jesus or heaven or hell or the virgin birth or resurrection? Or do I want my faith to be defined by how much compassion and grace and radical love I am able to muster up while loving my neighbor? [Read more…]