You know we really are blessed in so many ways! We have been blessed in a special way this past weekend as our daughter-in-law gave my son and me (and grandma, too) the greatest gift ever, a new daughter and grand daughter, Allison Paige Lawson.
We have been waiting for 9 months to meet her in person and we have not been disappointed. As I held her yesterday I again marveled at the wonder of life and birth. To see those tiny little hands and feet, all perfect, all working and moving as she experienced this new life "in the open air."
New experiences! That is what life is made up of, isn't it, one new experience after another. That is part of the wonder of being a grandparent, we get to sit back and observe all of the new experiences they have. Many, perhaps most, we have experienced ourselves, but through them we get to experience the wonder of it all over again.
Many folks in our world would prefer to live without new experiences. Many folks prefer "the known" and want life with no new surprises and without change. That is not how life works though, is it?
I'm sure that Allison would have been happy to stay in that warm dark place for a long time, but nature didn't give her the choice – being born was thrust upon her. For the next few years she still won't have very many choices she can make for herself concerning her life, but eventually all of the choices will be hers to make. If she didn't grow and make choices we would know that there was a problem with her development in someway.
We realize that concept is a basic truth of life; we accept it and go on with living. But have you ever thought that the same principles apply to our spiritual life? I was reading an article this morning about the phenomenon of "Cocooning." It's something that has always been found in any society, but seems to be growing in the more developing countries of our world. It is the practice of retreating into ourselves, surrounding ourselves with those things, in those places that make us feel comfortable and safe. It is the practice of insulating ourselves, like a caterpillar in a cocoon, from anything and any person who might make us uncomfortable.
This practice might make you feel safe and protected from the world, but it also stops you from experiencing life and building relationships with others. When we become Christians, God expects us to "leave the womb" and begin to grow, to experience life! And just like a baby, if we don't, then there is a problem with our spiritual development!
You may be familiar with what the Holy Spirit has to say about this:
You have been Christians a long time now, and you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things a beginner must learn about the Scriptures. You are like babies who drink only milk and cannot eat solid food. And a person who is living on milk isn't very far along in the Christian life and doesn't know much about doing what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who have trained themselves to recognize the difference between right and wrong and then do what is right. So let us stop going over the basics of Christianity again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don't need to start all over again with the importance of turning away from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. You don't need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding. (Hebrew 5:12-6:3 NLT)
We have been so very blessed in this life! Why not tear open that cocoon, if you have built one around yourself and continue the process of growing into a mature Christian. A Christian that can serve God and be an asset to others around them as you were intended to be!
Like the old song says, "Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done." When is the last time you stopped to count your blessings?