Turned 20 today. I know this probably sounds really cliché but it really seems like the last two years of my life seem to have increased speed more and more. I can no longer really brag about being the youngest employee at my job. Not really the youngest person in the program that I’m in here at the college either. Additionally the adult life responsibilities that seemed to have just recently been on the horizon now seem to be looming overhead.
And in the midst of all this, I have generally viewed myself as one who is pretty competent in the things that I am facing in life, and in the way that I am growing and developing. Especially in the last few months, this has been true as I was able to start working at the hospital and get accepted and started at the nursing program at the community college.
All this confidence has been challenged in the last two weeks, in some of the major areas of my life. It sort of started a couple of weeks ago with my manager at work telling me that I was, “still a baby”. Now, I have been called a baby at work and at school many times. And every time is was simply a comment that one of the older nurses or classmates made as they were surprised to here how young I was.
This time however, the comment had more a tone of seriousness to it, pointing to my immaturity in some of the actions that I had taken with my work and schedule. Those words sank deep into my mind… “You’re just a baby” “You’re still a kid” “You really don’t have it all as nailed down and figured out as you think you do.”
As I thought more and more on this comment I became more and more surprised. Surprised not as much at the reality of my immaturity, but more at how easily I forget about the reality of my immaturity. Surprised at how easily I forget about my need slow down and learn from the wisdom of the older people around me, close my mind up and just stick to my own personal plans.
As the following days unfolded and I continued to think about my response to my manager’s words, two more areas major areas came up where my ‘maturity’ fell through: school and ability to form an effective daily schedule. In these areas I faced a few situations where I simply was not able to meet the demands that I had taken upon myself.
It seems to be an inseparable part of our sin-tainted nature that we take a tiny bit of success, and inflate it up into a huge self confidence. As I read the Old Testament I often find myself awe-struck at how quickly the nation of Israel managed to forget God after he had so miraculously delivered them. Time and time again, they would humbly return to him, he would grant them victory, and then they would confidently storm off in the completely opposite direction.
However, as I examine my own life I find the same, quick over-done self confidence spring up as a result of success that I know was only by God’s mercy. I have noticed how easily I fall into overestimating myself, and these last few weeks have been a great reminder of that. I am reminded of my continual need of growth in humility before God’s truth and dependence on him. I also learn to always listen for criticism with eagerness, and to treasure the faithful correction from my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.