I’m delighted to share an article from Katherine Forster! She’s a great friend and example, and I’m honored to let her share about the delicate and yet beautiful balance of adulthood today. Leave her a comment to let her know what you think, and then head on over to her blog to find more weekly wisdom and loveliness!
My mom tells me that when I was just a toddler she would go for walks with me, pushing the stroller down the sidewalk of a street down the road from our development. The other day I was biking down that same road, like I do so often now, and I passed a woman pushing a toddler in a stroller.
It was a little girl, blond like I was at that age. I waved to the mom, and as I coasted past I saw her daughter pointing at something excitedly. I didn’t notice anything of particular interest in that direction, but the little girl was laughing in obvious delight.
So much has changed since I was that little girl—and at the same time, so little.
When I was little, I wasn’t allowed to play in the street. Even the unfrequented asphalt of our small neighborhood was off-limits. It would be ridiculous to let a young child run out into that place where the cars might come by and not see such a little person before it’s too late.
I was safe in my own backyard—but I was also restricted. I couldn’t explore past the banks of our little pond.
Now, I go farther and farther from my house on bike rides. I swerve out onto that busier road where I saw the lady and her child that day, and try to stay away from cars. Sometimes I get in their way and try to ride in an apologetic fashion as they pass me by.
I explore roads I’ve never biked along before. I get to enjoy the scenery—beautiful houses, cows and horses in small fields, the way the setting sun makes everything look like a taste of heaven.
But I also have to make sure I don’t get run over. I have to constantly watch out for cars, especially when I leave the sidewalk to ride on the road. And I also have to watch for pedestrians and other bikers, so I don’t hit them.
As we grow up, we leave more and more restrictions behind. That liberty can lead to beautiful experiences, but we have to watch ourselves. Don’t become intoxicated with this newfound freedom. Fewer rules actually means more responsibility, as we’re required to temper liberty with wisdom.
Maybe you once were supervised whenever you used a computer. Gradually, as you got older, the rules were lightened. Now maybe you have a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop of your own. That freedom allows you to do so much more—talk to friends at will, do research, work on projects, and have fun.
But there is so much responsibility that comes with unrestricted access to the internet. It can take over your life if you let it. We have to be responsible enough to set our own boundaries, or even to let others set them for us if we find ourselves too attached to things of the media.
As you embrace the freedom that comes with growing up, embrace the responsibility as well. Commit your ways to the Lord—don’t just delight that you can do what you want, but seek to use that freedom to serve Him.
Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. (Psalm 37:4-5)
Don’t Lose the Wonder
There have been many words spilled on not losing the wonder of childhood. Maybe it’s because this is such a danger for most of us. The little girl being pushed down the sidewalk, pointing in delight at something inconsequential, reminded me of that.
But what if growing up is actually an opportunity for more wonder?
I know God better now than I did when I was a toddler. I understand now, as I didn’t then, that all the beauty in this world points ultimately to Him. He made it. He gave it to us as a gift. Every beautiful thing here points to Him—to the definition of beauty Himself.
So when I pass trees glowing with the gold of sunset, I can delight not only in the beauty of the moment, but in the goodness of the God who made it. When the clouds pile up in shades of rose, or charcoal gray lined with brilliant white, I can wonder at both the majesty of the heavens and the Creator whose glory they declare.
And most importantly, I can marvel at the greatest gift of all—that the God who made all this would love us, who hated Him. That He would send His own Son to die, to suffer in a way that we can never understand, so that we could be saved.
Wonder at His love. Stand in awe of His unfathomable mercy.
So far, the more I grow and the more I learn about God, the more in awe I am of the glorious truth that is the gospel.
Growing up doesn’t have to mean a loss of wonder and delight. It can actually be a gateway to greater and greater joy in God and greater thankfulness for all His gifts to us.
So as you grow up, embrace the responsibility that comes with it. But embrace the wonder, too.
Katherine Forster is an eighteen-year old writer, poet, National Bible Bee champion, and editor for TheRebelution. Studying the Bible changed her life, and she wants to see it change the lives of other teens too. You can find her writings on Christ, the gospel, and the imminence of eternity at her blog.