Here is the full audio version of me sermon from yesterday – 2009-06-07 Rooted Faith – Grow Down – Ken Castor
And here is part 1 of the manuscript for that sermon:
Today, June 7 is the 7th birthday of my son, Benjamin. As a parent, I think my boy is growing up much too fast. It seems like only yesterday that he was a pudgy little guy twirling around in circles in his exer-saucer, laughing every time his bright eyes caught our delighted faces. If you know Ben, you know he is full of energy and full of life. The kid can bench-press a bus and his smile and giggles can remind you that pure wonderful joy actually exists in this world. Ben loves adventure, loves biking, skateboarding, running, throwing, kicking. And with the struggles that Ben has been through, being born into a difficult situation in South Africa and brought into our family, and with all that he has yet to experience, Ben is a kid who needs to be rooted in love. Part of me wants to hold him in that love and not let him grow up.
Is it okay for a parent to try to stop their child from growing up? There was once a kid was asked once by his mom, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” He said, “When I grow up I want to be a bus driver.” His mom replied, “Well, I won’t stand in your way.”
But, as a Dad, I think I do want to try to stand in the way of my son growing up. I’m just not convinced that growing up is that great of a thing. And that’s not just because I still like playing with Lego. The truth is that growing up doesn’t always equal a positive result… Growing up does not assure progress… it doesn’t always mean joy… and it doesn’t even guarantee maturity. Grownups are challenged with issues and experiences that right now my son can’t yet imagine that will attack his innocence and his trust and try to lead him away from a pure awesome life.
All around my son is the pressure and temptation to grow UP. It’s like our whole society tries to push children this way. But in the process, my son will learn that as a grownup he will be allowed to fill his life with toys, with gratification, with selfish pursuits, with broken relationships, with massive debt. As a grownup, my son will discover that he can watch adult movies. As a grownup, my son will learn, he is supposed to try to navigate a complex world of sexual options, pornography, divorces, abuse, lies, violence, cheating, scandals, betrayals, disappointments, temptations, and a myriad of other things that batter against personal character, thrash against marriages, against genuine love, and against the ability to stand strong in a stormy world. I’m not being pessimistic… I believe in – you know – the pursuit of happiness. But that pursuit can get grownups in a convoluted mess. And so it is that a grownup can demand attention, demand their own way, demand their own things, and cry out for special treatment. And if they don’t get those things, grownups can complain and throw a hissy fit and disrupt and deeply exhaust the lives of others around them. Grownups can actually be very childish… (part 2 tomorrow)