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Failure to Launch

Failure to Launch

Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it. Mark 10:15

As a young child, I was wholly dependent on my parents. I needed them for food, shelter, clothing, transportation, love, guidance, and protection. Gradually though, I became less and less dependent. One day, shortly after graduating from high school, I moved away, never to live at home again. My parents were still my parents, but the relationship changed radically as I became self-sufficient. This is normal and if it hadn’t happened, it would be weird. This would be a very different blog if I still lived in my parent’s basement at age 46. Growing from complete dependency to self-sufficiency is the way it’s supposed to be.

The problem with growing up and becoming self-sufficient though, is that I’ve done this in my spiritual life as well. As I grew, I lost my neediness – or at least I thought I did. As my way seemed to work out, I just kept going my way. Self-sufficiency though, in my spiritual life, has been disastrous.

In today’s passage, parents brought their children to be blessed by Jesus, who used the opportunity to teach his followers that everyone must to come to God with child-like dependence. Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it. Like a child continually needs his parents, we continually need God.

As followers of Christ, we may grow spiritually, but we never outgrow our need for him. We just think we do. When things are good, we forget how dependent we are. In our self-sufficiency, we abandon God in our daily lives.

I’ve spent years without taking any daily time to invest in my faith or relationship with God. As my self-sufficiency grew, I perceived myself to need God less. I followed me, until I met with the consequences of my drug addiction. In the disaster, I came to understand just how badly I still needed God.

The problem now, a few years after the disaster, as life has returned to normal, the temptation is to return to self-sufficiency, forgetting about God. I’m fine now. Self-sufficiency though, is deadly to my spiritual life. Daily, I must remember that I need God today as much as I did five years ago while in treatment. Daily, I must choose to be a child, desperately dependent on my spiritual father.

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