I used Joy & Mike's bathroom as an object lesson in Bible class today. Our study is on Sensible Strategies for Belonging. Today's lesson was titled Regaining a Genuine Self. Just to explain the progression of the discussion, the leading questions were:
1. Who in your life do you label mature and why? (Muffin- He acts like himself in the midst of difficulty, establishes an accurate community identity, enjoys each community member, parents and matures the community, and gives life to those without a family through spiritual adoption)
2. Why do people with underdeveloped "joy centers" appear to do just fine for the first 20 or 30 years of life then collapse? They isolate to cope, so we don't see them fall apart until they are married and have children or go into the work force.
3. Do you know any high functioning adults who are responsible in many areas of life but have difficulty maintaining successful and enduring relationships? Do you know any "child adults" who only take care of themselves often at the expense of others?
So this is where the bathroom analogy hit me. Their bathroom looks good except for a crack in the floor, which we know is indicative of a much bigger problem. When the experts told them what was needed they said to prepare with a trash truck that would hold two tons of materials, because they know how much needs to be removed before the renovation can begin. Making a comeback to be a mature adult after 20 or more years of thinking like a child because of a broken life isn't easy, but it is a possibility if the right people are there with the trash truck doing the renovation and Jesus is involved. Several people sitting in our study are evidence to a "renovated life." One was locked in a room for long periods of time for 11 years by a step father who didn't want to deal with her while her mother was on business trips. Another reverted to her "child self" and tried to commit suicide six times before finding that Jesus was there for her even in her past. God is good. All the time. He never changes. That means that He is there now. He was there then. He will be there tomorrow. I love Him!