Bodies are an amazing phenomenon. In the letter to the Corinthians, Paul describes the people of the church as one body. One person is the foot and one is the arm, etc. That’s a great metaphor. The foot is good at one thing and the arm is good at something else. The nose needs the eyes and the eyes need the ears. It all makes sense….until….
Until the body wants to add another leg, arm, nose or set of ears. Well, that’s just an odd thing to have happen. It would take quite an effort to get used to having an extra arm or another set of feet. The body would have to learn how to rebalance itself. Hand and eye coordination are difficult enough for some of us. Imagine adding another hand and another eye. A whole new level of coordination would be necessary.
Rev. Sarah Hegar, our Director of Congregational Ministries and JV high school girls’ basketball coach, shared her insights. She said, “Some of my high school athletes are as wobbly as baby giraffes. They are just learning how to grow into their new bodies.” They call it growing pains, because it is painfully endearing to watch. It can be painful to live through as well. One might ask, “Where do I fit in now? Where should I sit? How do I act, dress, talk, run and walk?
I eat more, need more time to get ready, and have new cravings? It can feel like a mixed up time. As one songwriter put it, “There aren’t any Band-Aids for these growing pains.”
Growing the body of the church can be just as awkward and require new effort, too. It takes new coordination and may be met with some resistance. People can feel like they don’t quite know their place anymore. There can be a need for more time and space. The body of Christ can feel like it is stumbling forward, as it begins to change for growth.
However, there is sage advice handed down from generation to generation. One piece of advice is to pray:
Pray for wisdom.
Pray for courage.
Pray for strength.
We can make foolish mistakes in our growing years. That’s normal. We should learn from them and avoid them alto-gether, if possible. So pray for wisdom.
Pray for courage. It takes gumption to walk in a new way. It’s easy to say, “I quit.” You probably did say that a few times as an adolescent. Pray for courage to live into growing.
Pray for strength. Adding to the body is going to take effort and literally more physical stamina. Pray for strength.
Pray for us as a body of Christ to have the wisdom, courage and strength to grow!
May we grow to share more of God’s love, shine more of God’s light, and shape more of God’s people. Amen.
Blessings, Rev. Trey Hegar