[forthright] Not Yet

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Sun, 02 Mar 2008 18:11:08 -0600
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross


COLUMN: Reality Check

Not Yet
by Stan Mitchell

"All by itself the soil produces grain -– first
the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in
the head" (Mark 4:28).

Most parents have seen this happen. As the
communion tray passes by, our little one stretches
to see its contents, then in a stage whisper says:
"Mom, can I have some juice too?"

Of course, you could say flat out, "No!" but most
parents wisely respond, "Not yet."

"No you can't," and "Not yet" are quite different
responses, you know. Sometimes it's important to
wait. Delay is not denial. Waiting for the proper
time is not idle waiting, nor is it empty.

Anticipation is the best preparation for the
moment of fulfillment.

Of course, our kids could take crackers and juice
right with all the other participants, but they
would not be partaking of the body and blood of
the Lord, and the special nature of this ceremony
would be lost on them.

Delayed gratification is not popular in our
culture, but there are times when it is important.
I remember the first time I took communion. I was
twelve years old, and it was the week after I was
baptized. What a very special moment that was!

Human beings are always in such a hurry. God, I
have noticed, allows for nature to take its
course. And it doesn't hurt for our children to
observe baptisms, and the Lord's Supper, and to
begin to form the idea that one day, they, too,
will grow to participate in and appreciate these
grownup mysteries.

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and
wait for the Lord" (Psalm 27:14).

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