What is the one thing every mother wants for her children? To grow up! Picture your preschool child twenty years in the future. He or she has gone off to college or to begin a career. One day there's a knock at the door. When you open it, there stands your fully grown adult child, and the first thing out of his or her mouth is, "Mama, Dada I want my baba." Your heart would drop, and tears would come at the tragedy of your child growing old without growing up.
Life is about progression. Plants mature from seedling to sapling. Musicians progress from chopsticks to Chopin. Human beings grow from childhood to adulthood. Spiritual maturity, like physical maturity, is a growth process. Born-again believers are babies who must grow up.
Preacher and evangelist Leonard Ravenhill told a story about a group of tourists visiting a picturesque village. They walked by an old man sitting beside a fence, and in a rather patronizing way one tourist asked, "Were any great men born in this village?"
The old man replied, "Nope, only babies."
A frothy question yielded a profound answer. There are no instant adults either in this world or in the Kingdom of God. Growth takes time.
-- Lenya Heitzig and Penny Pierce Rose in Pathway to God's Treasure: Ephesians