Actor and realist, Marlon Brando is quoted as saying, “Acting is the expression of a neurotic impulse. It’s a bum’s life. Quitting acting, that’s the sign of maturity.” And although I really cannot speak to the reasoning that happens in an actor’s brain, Mr. Brando is on to something. Maturity is less about attainment, and more about attitude.
As christians, we need to learn from this view. For many, our personal platforms and ability to write or speak or “do” is mistakenly perceived by ourselves and others, as maturity. But the long hard truth of the matter is that it isn’t. Our spiritual maturity, which really is the most important kind, has more to do with humility and obedience – even to the point of personal pain and sacrifice. In short, this life, isn’t about us anymore. It is fully about using our life as a reflection of the kind of life that is found in God’s care.
The very sad reality is that most of us simply do not want to grow up. Don’t get me wrong, we want the benefits of spiritual and physical adulthood, but we do not want to take the long, often lonely, road that must be traveled to get there with our integrity and moral compass intact. But it is this road that must be traveled, if we are to experience the fullest part of a life in God, marked by a willing, mature, and obedient relationship.
Is growing up hard to do? Yes. But isn’t it worth the journey?