“He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.” Col. 1:28
This is as mature as I am going to be, since at my advanced age, I will probably not be doing a lot of growing.
I have already reached my ceiling, haven’t I? I have never been all that ambitious as far as my career and academic pursuits. Of course, I seem to have reached my limits on both. I am quickly approaching my retirement and have pretty much quit reading books. Old age is rather depressing in general, and I seem to spend most of my days musing about superfluous things and becoming anxious about the inevitable.
This isn’t maturity at all; it’s digression if anything. If aging is this boring and monotonous, I have no idea what eternity is going to be like. Indeed, longevity is what we crave, yet there was a one hundred and four-year-old Austrian scientist, evidently tired of being old, who flew to Switzerland not long ago to end his life legally. If this life becomes intolerable, there is at least a way out; yet there is no such choice in eternity. Isn’t annihilation a far better option than having eternal life?
Life simply becomes unbearable and void of joy if we cease to grow into the likeness of Christ Jesus. I think this is the issue I am encountering. What makes life exciting and exhilarating is the fact that we are still growing into something and we continue to have something to look forward to in the future. What do elderly people have remaining in their lives to be looked forward to except the end of their earthly journey? Indeed, life is not worth living if growing isn’t a part of it.
I suppose that’s what makes retirement so very depressing. Indeed, there are a lot of retirees nowadays who do nothing everyday but stare blankly at the TV screen between their waking and sleeping. They seem to spend a lot of time waiting, yet having no earthly idea what they are expecting.
Did the Apostle Paul ever complain about being old and having nothing to do? What’s amazing is he seemed to be busily doing something while he was sitting in a damp and dark dungeon, waiting to be executed. In the last letter he wrote to Timothy he was reminding his spiritual son to bring the parchment to him so that he could continue to study and to grow into full maturity in Christ Jesus. He wrote: “When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.”
If I cease to grow into the full maturity in Christ here on earth, will I still find it exciting to grow spiritually after I enter into eternity?