When I was a little boy, my father used to take me to Araneta Coliseum to watch professional basketball. I don’t remember the games anymore. But I can still remember how my dad used to stand in line at the ticket booth just to get us good seats. I also remember how he would lift me up high above the towering crowd just so I can see the players as they enter the court. Not to mention that wonderful memory of my dad treating me out for pizza right after the game as we relive the game once more.
Today, my father is a senior citizen. He is sick with diabetes and has just gone through an angioplasty procedure. He is retired and is no longer as active as before. When we go and watch basketball, I stand in line for the tickets while he sits on one of those makeshift stools specially designed for people his age. He doesn’t hoist me up anymore (even if he can, I wouldn’t allow him to because that would be too embarrassing!). And when we eat out afterwards, I now pay the bill.
My Dad couldn’t do the things he did for me before.
But my joy of spending time with him isn’t diminished one bit. When I was younger, I love spending time with him because of what he does for me. Today, I love spending time with him simply because of who he is — my father.
They say that the same is true with the journey of a growing Christian. At first, you enjoy spending time with God because of what you get from Him.
You praise and worship God because of the answered prayers. You attend prayer meetings because of the ecstatic feeling of being blessed. You go to mass and complete the novena because of what you hope to get from Him. And that was fine. Every baby Christian goes through that.
Today, I want to encourage you to start your walk towards Christian maturity by seeking God’s face more than God’s hand. Begin to honor Him more for His identity rather than His blessings. Worship Him for His character rather than His provision.
Indeed, Christian maturity is when we praise God not so much for what He does for you but simply for who He is. Regardless of our situation, it doesn’t change the fact that God is good and is deserving of our praises. Lift your hands in praise even if the bills are piling up, or the relationships are turning sour, or your health is challenged.
Let your worship of God be independent of what’s happening to you and more dependent on who God is.
So buckle up, my friend! Let your journey towards Christian maturity begin!
I remain, your brother in Christ,