Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people. (Luke 2:52)
Relate: There is something to be said for order, tradition, and repetition. Normally, I’m not a big fan of two out of those three, but there are times, places, and moments when each of those can be immensely beneficial. One of those was the way each and every Royal Ranger’s (a Christian Boy Scout type program) service started every Wednesday (or Thursday) night from the time I was about six all the way through junior high and beyond. We would all get together in a line, stand at attention, and then recite together various pledges and mottos.
A Royal Ranger is ready: ready for anything, ready to work, play, serve, obey, worship, live, etc.
With God’s help I will do my best to serve God, my church, and my fellow man. To live by the Ranger code, and to make the golden rule my daily rule.
Of course you would know that golden rule:
Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.
Imagine the mental gymnastics our poor leaders would have to go through to get a group of five and six year olds to memorize and understand that King James. The Ranger code is represented on the badge we all wore by the eight blue points:
A Royal Ranger is:
Alert (He is physically, spiritually, and mentally alert)
Clean (He is clean in body, mind, and speech)
Honest (He does not lie, cheat, or steal)
Courageous (He is brave in spite of danger, criticism, and threat)
Loyal (He is faithful to friends, family and outpost)
Courteous (He is polite, kind and thoughtful)
Obedient (He obeys his parents, leaders, and those in authority)
Spiritual (He prays, reads the Bible, and witnesses)
On that emblem there also were four red points representing salvation, the Holy Spirit, healing, and the rapture and there were four gold points representing the four ways a boy grows: physically, spiritually, mentally, and socially. Rangers wasn’t a perfect program and I do have issues with it, but one thing they did well was balance programming that was physical, spiritual, mental, and social.
Why did all of that just spill out of me as I started typing? I’m sure most of you are completely unfamiliar with and care very little about Royal Rangers. But all of that was drummed into me so well that every single time I read Luke 2:52 everything above just seems to stumble right into the forefront of my mind. I can’t help it. Jesus personified those four gold points. He grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.
React: My personality tends to be one of extremes. My temperament might be pretty even keeled, but my passions… I go too far. I’ll go three months without running once, then for three or four days straight get out there and pound the pavement so hard I’m winding up on my hands and knees trying desperately not to throw up while my legs wobble around like jelly. I will start reading a book and my world disappears, food, sleep, sometimes even work stops, until I have completed the entire series. If it were up to me, I would just grow in favor with God and forget the rest of it. I’m not very good with balance.
But Jesus is. And more than anything I want to be like Him.
God, I want to be just like You. More than anything I want to be like You. Help me to understand that this isn’t just about walking on water and raising the sick from the dead. Being like You means I balance my mental and social life. Being like You means seeing to my physical well being as well as my spiritual well being. Help me to truly understand that focusing on the last while ignoring the other three isn’t healthy. It isn’t Godly. It isn’t You. Help me to live in balance, so that You might be glorified through me.