I think the doctors are really to blame.
I mean for starters they practically announce the child like an athlete over a stadium loud speaker from the minute they are born. "And now a girl, weighing at 6lb 11oz, standing 18 oz, and hailing from her mother's womb…Aniston Grace Hunt!!!!!"
It only gets worse after that.
Leaving the hospital, the doctors and nurses put them on a performance diet so that they keep growing and developing on the right track. That way when you get home and the baby pukes up what looks like 3 bottles worth of formula from the 1 bottle you just fed her, you can justify losing sleep for 3 nights thinking your child will grow a tail or something.
Oh it continues…
Because then you get to the pediatrician's office for the first time and they pretty much smack you in the face with it. Literally right after you shake the doctor's hand he hands it over. The innocent name is the "Your Baby's Health and Growth Record", but the real name is The Score Card. It is then that you realize that this isn't a routine visit to the doctor it is the visit with the coach. It isn't a question and answer session it is a grilling. It isn't a development check it is a competition.
You know I'm right.
Deep down you are torqued off when your little one is in the 10th percentile for something and proud as a peacock when they bust into the 95th percentile. I know I am!
I also know that you and your spouse have had those conversations at night that end up with one of you crying because you think you are going to raise a baby with a shrunken head at the rate their head is growing. Don't lie
You can say you are not competitive all you want, but you are kidding yourself. We ALL want our kids to be healthy, but let's face it we wouldn't mind a superstar in the family either! So we take pride in making sure our kids eat right, letting them sleep enough, we buy those flash cards on TV where the 6 month old is reading War and Peace out loud, and we spend time with them so that when we go into the Doctor's office we get a good grade.
We ALL do it!
Could you imagine what would happen if we put that much concern and effort into our walk with Christ? What would our lives look like and how different would our relationship with God be if we cared how much we spiritually developed?
Now hear me clearly on this one. I'm not asking you to go get a score card and start adding up all the stuff you do for God like a spiritual checklist. In fact, if we go too far that way and become a legalist Jesus may lovingly call us a "son of hell" which isn't good.
But what if we simply ask ourselves "If I were to go to Doctor God and ask Him to check me out. Where would my spiritual development be at?"
Ouch…I don't know about you, but that just made me puke a little.
I think I'd probably put myself on the Gerber Stage 1 food level in some ways. All of us would be malnourished at best and some of us near death.
So my challenge to you and to me is to stop neglecting our spiritual development. Let's start feeling that similar sense of accomplishment and desire to grow we have for our kids toward our relationship with God. Imagine what could happen?
I know one thing for sure…God is chomping at the bit to see you become the superstar He designed you to be!