All Grown-up

The difference between a juvenile sensibility and an adult one probably has to do with the level of one’s responsibility in their life. …at least, that’s been the case for me.

In many ways – I’m still a big kid.  I’m closing in on my mid-thirties, but I still hear things like “you’re too young to be a pastor” or people are surprised I’ve got a toddler at home.  I’m a big kid in that I like toys – technology gadgets are more my thing (than, say, boats or cars) – and I get a kick out of silly movies, like ones with Jack Black or Ben Stiller.

But I also have responsibility in my life.  My parents instilled that sense of responsibility in us kids in a few ways.  We grew up on a hobby farm, so my brother and I tended the goats, as well as a pony and horse, and my sisters (who were a number of years younger) tended some ducks and occasionally the chickens.  We also had a big garden, which was mostly my dad’s responsibility, but the whole family contributed to the watering, weeding, and harvesting of it.  My mom kind of held it all together – making sure the eggs got washed (by herself or us kids) and sorted to sell; making sure the goat’s milk was stored properly; making sure the beans from the garden were preserved properly, and so on.  The farm was good learning for me as I was growing up – giving me responsibility and also a lot of fun!

I moved out on my own in my university years, but it wasn’t a situation where I had responsibility for a house – I rented (of course!).  …but I was responsible for getting my homework done, without the prodding of my parents or watchful eye of grade-school teachers; I was responsible for my own laundry, for paying rent, for cooking meals, for getting myself to different appointments, and so on.

Now that I’m married, and a parent, I have responsibility for household expenses, for a certain amount of upkeep of the house, for paying more expenses.  And, as a pastor, I have responsibility for things like preparing services on Sundays, being in touch with people in the congregation (especially if they might be ill or unable to go out), and I have a responsibility to be in the community speaking out for marginalized people – words that can challenge people (or even cause me to rethink my place in society).

Without a doubt, I’m not always as disciplined as I’d like to be; and I’m sure there will be bigger responsibilities ahead of me.  All of these contribute to my adult place in the world!


Posted on May 8, 2010, in Tyler's occasional web log. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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