9/14/10

GROWING UP IN RELIGION

by Roy A. Cheville

One Sunday morning a comment was made that has remained with me. It was at the close of a service in the Brick Church in Lamoni. I had been on the faculty of Graceland some two or three years. I had come from university studies full of facts, questions, perplexities, and theories. Many of them were freely shared.

After my sermon that morning, an elderly member, one of those "mothers-in-Israel," shook my hand and said, "Brother Cheville, you're growing."
Had she commented that the discourse was good or even outstanding, I would have been less impressed. That simple phrase, "You're growing," stirred me. I have never forgotten it. Many a time since then I have hoped the comment would still be true.

So often I find members of the Church who are not intent on growing. They want to have all questions settled, all explorations closed. They draw away from spiritual frontiers. The "fullness of the gospel" becomes something they now possess, rather than an infinite experience into which they move step by step.
A major essential for those who share in this quest is that they want to grow. And this outlook is the spirit of our gospel at its best, the expectancy of revelation in an expanding insight. Today it is imperative that we ask ourselves whether we are growing—growing on all fronts, growing in integration, growing in outlook, growing in effective relationship with God and man. We need such persons urgently in these modern times. The work of God requires them. I cannot think of a more significant evaluation that God might make to us than this one: "You're growing."

It has been said that humanity may be divided into three groups: (1) those who are unaware that there is any frontier edge, (2) those "on edge," and (3) those "on the growing edge." This text is addressed to the last of these three. It is sent out in the intent of serving those who want to keep on growing, as long as they live. The Church is needing such as these.