2 Thessalonians 1:3
We ought always to thank you God, for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.
For the last eight years, I have driven seemingly hundreds of times a week past Lake Marian. Lake Marian is a drink of a lake with lots of activity. In the fall, it is a gathering place for geese heading south. Sometimes there are hundreds.
Every spring, several “couples” raise their babies in the safe confines of Lake Marian. This spring was no exception. One Sunday on the way to church, Rick and I see four new families, all taking a morning swim. Dad is in the front, Mom in the back and the newbies in-between. Precious.
A few days later, I see the families in the lawn. Mom and Dad are bringing them food. The babies gladly accept the nourishment brought their way. But it isn’t too long and the scene changes. Now, I see Mom and Dad teaching the babies to root for their own food. The parents are carefully monitoring their babies find bugs or worms or whatever baby geese eat.
As the days and weeks go by, I see the parents become more adventurous with their goslings. I see them cross the road. Momma goose isn’t very happy when traffic comes up on her brood in the middle of the road.
Then, I see them venturing further from Lake Marion. Just a few days later, they are down by the Black Earth Creek. This is a creek with currant and much less controlled than Lake Marion. I see the parents coaching their babies into the creek, maybe for the first time. I imagine the parents squawking to their beloved goslings, “Don’t be afraid. It’s OK. We’re right here beside you.” What a big day!
The last time I took note, it is getting difficult to distinguish the babies from the parents. I’m not exactly sure when the babies leave the brood. I’m sure it’s an exciting and yet scary day for Mom and Dad.
Faith journeys are much like these little goslings. We begin to explore and develop a sense of faith, hopefully guided by strong Christian mentors and role models. Over time, we explore bigger and more challenging Christian concepts. Sometimes we spread our wings a bit further than we should and hopefully loving Christian people walk aside us when we struggle. There comes the time when we have to dip our own toes into the water and assume responsibility for our own spiritual journeys.
Our faith is always moving: either increasing or decreasing. It’s our responsibility to decide which direction it is going. I pray that we will choose wisely.
Lord God, thank you for giving us patience to grow spiritually. I pray that appropriate mentors are a part of each person’s spiritual journey. May we decide to grow our faith in such a way that is exciting and fulfilling. Amen.