Tag Archives: maturity

Excuses

Creativity is a wonderful thing. We see it everywhere. It shows up in some interesting places … like when parents come up with excuses for their kids:

“Please excuse Josh for being absent. I forgot to wake him up and I did not find him until I started making the beds — by then it was too late for him to go to school.”

“John didn’t come to school yesterday because he was feeling like he was going to be sick. Thankfully, he wasn’t!”

“Please excuse Janet’s absence from school. It was Take Your Daughter to Work Day. Since I don’t have a job, I made her stay home and do housework.”

“Please excuse Ricky from school yesterday. He spilled gasoline on his stomach and I was afraid he might explode.”

“Please excuse Mary for missing school yesterday. We forgot to get the Sunday paper off the porch and when we found it on Monday, we thought it was Sunday.”

Excuse is defined as an attempt to lessen the blame attaching to (a fault or offense); to seek to defend or justify.

We’ve all done it. We have tried to excuse ourselves for something we have or haven’t done. We would like to justify ourselves or simply get off the hook in an embarrassing or an uncomfortable situation.

Eve had an excuse: It was the serpent’s fault. Adam had an excuse: It was Eve’s fault.

Somebody has to take the fall (pun intended). One of the marks of maturity is when we own our thoughts, words, and deeds. We live in a shaming/blaming society where it seems to get easier to point to someone or something else.

My mom, and probably yours, used to say that when you point your finger at someone else, you still have four fingers pointed back to you. Lord, help us to take responsibility for our own lives!

“I’m old enough”

“I’m old enough” isn’t a complete sentence. There are always qualifiers:

  • “I’m old enough to tie my shoes.”
  • “I’m old enough to sleep without the light on.”
  • “I’m old enough to drive a car.”
  • “I’m old enough to make my own decisions.

Sometimes the sentence changes – “You’re old enough.”

  • “You’re old enough to sit there and be quiet.”
  • “You’re old enough to mow the grass.”
  • “You’re old enough to stop acting like a baby.”
  • “You’re old enough to know better.”
  • “You’re old enough to do this yourself.”

It seems like there are two notions to “old enough.” The first is on the way up as you develop, grow, and develop. As you move through childhood and adolescence toward adulthood, you learn lessons, achieve milestones, and become your own person.

Then there is that second. You are not going up anymore; heck, you’re heading downhill and you notice you are picking up speed!

  • “You’re old enough not to try to do that anymore.”
  • “You’re old enough to not be able to do that anymore.”
  • “You’re old enough to know that there are a lot of things you don’t know.”
  • “You’re old enough to talk about events and people from the distant past.”
  • “You’re old enough to appreciate things you used to take for granted.”
  • “You’re old enough to understand there are more years behind you than in front of you.”
  • “You’re old enough to treasure relationships and cherish time with people you love.”

I know I’m old enough to be grateful for blessings. In a week, Kim and I celebrate our 37th wedding anniversary. We’ve had the privilege of raising two fine sons who have become really good men. We’ve become grandparents to three amazing kids. I was called into the ministry as a senior in high school at a church camp. For over 40 years, I have had the privilege to serve with some of the most dedicated Christians around. I’m old enough to know the road can get rocky and life can be painful, but I’m also old enough to believe that God goes before me, stands beside me, follows after me, and loves me always. I’m old enough.