Along the way, he has discovered his little fingers and his feet and most recently, that he also has a tongue! He will spend untold minutes making little noises with his mouth and then grinning with satisfaction at the results!
Now I realize that these things may not sound all that impressive in and of themselves. But considering that he started with a completely blank slate a mere six months ago, he has definitely accomplished a lot!
Of course we all start out pretty much the same way. We come into this world with very few skills. But then, over a period of time, hopefully, we grow and develop into maturity.
I am reminded of the old story about a group of tourists visiting a picturesque village who walked by an old man sitting beside a fence. In a rather patronizing way, one tourist asked, "Were any great men born in this village?" The old man replied, "Nope, only babies."
This rather petulant question actually brought about a fairly profound answer. In truth, there are no instant heroes! Rather, growth takes time. Maturity is a process.
Development is also a necessary component of life. For while the actions of a six month old child are often seen as adorable, similar actions would likely not be viewed with as much appreciation if they were being undertaken by a teenager. By then, hopefully, one should have matured far beyond these initial stages of development.
Of course, what is true in the temporal world is also true in the spiritual one. Believers become children of God when they experience new birth in Christ. Thereafter, hopefully, they begin a process of spiritual growth that continues all throughout their lives. And if they do not soon exhibit growth and maturity, one might rightfully ask whether there is a problem of some sort.
As a child, I used to love the old Paramount Pictures' Famous Studios cartoon about “Baby Huey”, a gigantic and naïve baby duckling. He was portrayed as a comical individual, clumsy and naïve as he bumbled his way to the successful resolution of one pressing problem after another.
As funny as this cartoon character was, real life “Baby Hueys” are not nearly as amusing. In fact, overgrown babies who have never grown up are no laughing matter. If you come across one, you will soon have cause for regret.
The Apostle Paul encountered his share of such overgrown babes in Christ in the church in ancient Corinth. Here is how he addressed them on his First New Testament Epistle (chapter three, verses 1-2):
1Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.
Paul’s concern appears to be that the Corinthian Christians should be progressing in their spiritual growth, and moving from spiritual milk to spiritual solid food in the process. Sadly, they are not. And Paul's heart is broken as a result.
My six month old grandson is even now moving from the bottle to cereal. I hope the day will soon come when he is eating solid food. And I also hope there eventually comes a point in his life where he puts the bottle down for good.
Otherwise, even I, his adoring grandfather, might not find his actions so adorable. Somehow, I sense that God looks at us much the same!
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: http://biblehub.com/niv/1_corinthians/3.htm.