The Upper Room devotional reflection for Saturday, July 9, 2022 comes to us from Dori H. Gorman of Tennessee
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 NIV
“Who do you want to be when you grow up?” My dad asked me that question throughout my childhood. My six-year-old-self responded, “I want to be a veterinarian.” “No,” my dad would say. “That’s what you want to do.” I asked, “What do you want to be?” As a child, I equated having a particular job with who I would become. Now I understand how those things are different. Reflecting on this made me think of other “childish ways.” Have I put them behind me? Is my identity rooted in a title or a position? Do I long for notoriety? Do I still throw tantrums? God wants all of us to come to Jesus with childlike faith, but that’s different from childish faith.
Recently I met a six-year-old boy, Aiden. Following in the footsteps of my dad, I asked Aiden, “Who do you want to be when you grow up?” He replied, “I want to be a man.” His response was childlike but no childish. It was said with the innocence of a child who simply wants to grow and mature – to become the person God created him to be. Aiden’s answer reminds us all that rather than focusing on what we do or how we can make a name for ourselves, we can focus on becoming who God has created us to be.
I agree with Dori H. Gorman that the wide-eyed innocence of childhood is one of the most pure ways to understand God. Thus, we are called to be like children and trust that our life journey is given to us so that we learn to trust God to prepare us to be who God created us to be. My own experience of being “called” to ministry reminds me that what I do professionally as a pastor is in large part who God created me to be. Still, while this feels like the hand of God’s creation to me, I have also been created to be a child of God and follower of Jesus, even beyond my calling into the pastorate. I invite you to consider Dori H. Gorman’s question, “Who do you want to be when you grow up?”
Dear Lord, give us faith that is childlike but not childish. Help us to become the persons you created us to be. Amen.
--Dori H. Gorman
Thought for the Day:
Who is God calling me to be when I grow up?