Lately I've been thinking about the nature of growing up and getting older, which are usually related but not necessarily.
In my circle of close friends, the past few years have brought us to many unexpected places and forced us to grow. Health crises, deaths of loved ones, beginning families and watching families dissolve, career struggles, looking for meaning in our lives, and seeking to find God have taken us from what I remember as naively happy days to a more hardened, mature view of the world now.
The phrase that keeps floating around in my head is "loss of innocence". I don't mean that we were once pure and perfect creatures and now we've fallen. More along the lines of a "knowledge of good and evil".
Maturity is a painful process. In that annoyingly omniscient way, God seemed to know that and has tried to prepare us for it. James 1 speaks of this, as does Hebrews 12, but I'll be honest and say that right now I can't claim to be really in tune with those truths.
I heard somewhere once upon a time that adulthood brings it's own joys, but also it's own heartaches. To enjoy the prior, we must endure the latter. Knowing the great circle of life, I'm sure they're all intertwined and one couldn't exist without the other.
Many people who go through this maturation process and come out calloused and bitter. I hope as Christians, my friends and I will hold on to faith in the goodness to be found in our world, to a belief in God's providence , and to each other.