From Diane Thompson-Bowen, Pentacostal Chaplain:
I recently attended a ‘Gala ball’ hosted by the Jamaican Society in Reading. Apart from the opportunity to dress up, experience fine dinning in sumptuous surroundings and dance the night away, the evening was primarily about celebrating the upcoming anniversary in August of the fiftieth year of independence for Jamaica. This was one of the first (and earliest) event of its kind this year- assuring me that Jamaicans and the Jamaican Diaspora worldwide will be celebrating this anniversary with much gusto (not to mention food, drink and music). Jamaicans are proud of their independence. There was a time when many believed that a small island in the Caribbean would be unable to govern itself and make its way in the world, and yet this small nation continues exist against the odds. And that brings me to my point every living thing must grow and mature or it will die.
Maturity brings independence or at least it should. There comes a time in life when we are required to stand on our own two feet, cut the apron strings, and start our journeys into a brave new world. Even our language is peppered with phrases which encourage us to strive for independence, maturity and self-sufficiency. Gaining independence is not easy, it can be very scary. Moving somewhere new, leaving friends, family and the familiar behind. No longer having a support system that has always been there. However gaining independence is essential, it can be the making of a man (or woman, or country). Learning to make decisions, think critically and evaluate your own needs. Maturity and independence go hand in hand and we are to strive for it, so that we can fulfil our potential.
‘When I was a child, I talked like a child; I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.’ (1 Corinthians 13: 11 NIV)
And perhaps, like the Jamaican Olympic squad this summer, we will win many, many gold medals in our lives!