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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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Growing Down

One Sunday long ago, a minister went to a family gathering. He did not want to think about the things that had happened to him that week.

    -A church leader announced that he was planning to resign because other church members had made his ministry fail.
    -A lady had confided in him that she was no longer wanting to come to worship because church members did not seem friendly or sensitive to her problems.
    -After many years of unhappiness, a woman was now planning to leave her husband.
    - And a Bible class teacher had said he would no longer teach because someone offended him.

Sad to say, this was not a particularly unusual week for the minister. But as the family now sat and talked on the porch, he tried to forget his problems and ignore the shouts of the ten excited grandchildren running and playing nearby. Suddenly, he noticed one of the children standing inside the doorway, sulking.

"Why are you not with the others?"

"I am not playing with them because they won't obey my rules!" came the mournful reply.

"You, too?" he thought. We adults are more like our children than we like to think. But then he saw a difference between the child and the adults. The unhappy boy soon understood that his quitting the game did not stop it. Neither did it keep his cousins from having as much fun as they were having before. And the boy saw that the saddest child was the one who had chosen not to play. He heard his friends entreating him to come back into the game. And he knew that he really did want to be with the others.

So he soon forgave his comrades and joined the game again. Within moments, he seemed as happy as before. His sulking had lasted but just a few minutes.

Do you see the difference between the little boy and us adults?

Lord, today we will not ask for you to help the children grow up. Today, if it is not too late, we simply ask, could you help us "grownups" to grow down?

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward