Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny. C.S. Lewis

We really don’t know much about stages of development in our instant culture.  We have someone make our coffee for us.  We no longer have to wait to have our photos developed – not even an hour – for now we have digital cameras that deliver back to us the image, instantly. I don’t have to wait to get in touch my adult children living in a faraway land. We can email someone – page them, call them on a cellphone, instant message them this moment. We don’t wait for our jeans or jackets or caps to age to get that rugged look – they come that way now, prefaded, tattered.  Character that can be bought and worn immediately.

But God is a God of process.  He doesn’t run.  He walks.  The only time we see him running is told in a story of the return of the prodigal son.  The reason the father ran was — if he didn’t get to his son first, the neighbors would meet the young man at the city and beat up the son for dishonoring his father.

If you want a mango tree, he starts with a mango seed.  If you want a Bible, well, he delivers over the course of more than a thousand years.  If you want a woman, you must begin with a girl, God ordained that stages of feminine  development.  They are woven into the fabric of our being, just as the laws of nature are woven into the fabric of the earth.   In fact, those who lived closer to the earth respected and embraced the stages for centuries upon centuries.  My grandmother’s sister liked to walk in the woods.  I went with her lots of time.  She would point out various shades of leaves of trees and bushes just in case I got lost.  The darker leaves always faced the east.  We might think of them as the ancient paths.  Only recently have we lost touch with them.  In exchange for a double or triple, low-fat, low-sodium, sugar free latte.  And air-fried chicken ???.  Sounds oxymoron to me.  The result of having abandoned feminine initiation, the celebration of a girl becoming a woman, leaves so many girls uninitiated, untrained. Resulting in children having children.

The culture of performance (honor and shame) and of caste society (status and clan order) forgets that there are those who couldn’t go to college.  Some girls couldn’t even finish high school.  Not for lack of brains but for lack of ….  They are raising their children to the best they know how, and most of the time alone with  little.  I watch and I listen and realize that there is too much talk and no action.  My friend use to say,  “Kede kmal chad ra omesaod ea uloled a mongkongk e kung ma chadoel a blid a chemars.”  In my opinion, we are so afraid of failure and label ourselves and others in many unhealthy ways.

We enjoy the change materialistically but afraid of change as human beings – to grow up. To mature.  Maturity is not when we start speaking big things…it is when we start understanding small things.  Keeping long-term commitments and self-acceptance.

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