Friday, October 14, 2011

A Tribute to Maturity

I know I’m not alone in observing that chronological age is not a reliable indicator of maturity. Since immaturity is measured by selfishness and shortsightedness, years-lived are only one of the factors that can help people overcome immaturity. I’ve heard some young persons proclaim that they are “mature for their age,” but such proclamations are usually the delusions of self-centered children. While we expect a certain immaturity in the young, and there’s no shortage of immaturity among the elderly, there are a few who do rise above the normal chronology of years to achieve a maturity that us usually born of adversity.

I have had the privilege of knowing such a man. His name is Zach Ramsey. I’ve known him since he was about six-years-old. I’ve pastored him, taught him in school, and been a friend of his family. I had the privilege of performing the wedding service for him and his lovely wife Dori a little over three years ago. Sometime next week, I will have the honor of being one of the ministers for his funeral in Little Rock, AR.

As a boy, Zach could be an adventuresome rascal, and he had most of the usual teenage cockiness. On July 31, 2004 Zach (age 22), was diagnosed with a rare cancer [DSRCT]. This began a rollercoaster journey that turned a boy into a man beyond his years. If he had won the lottery at age 22 I don’t know how his story would have ended. But his hard circumstances gave him a focus on the important and the eternal that not only advanced his own maturity and sanctification, it also enabled him to serve others, which is the mark of maturity. His love for his wife, parents, family and friends was demonstrated continually. Moreover, His love for his Savior was unwavering and powerful to all who knew him and watched him live. He was an extraordinary, ordinary man that I have come to respect, admire, and look up to. At 5:55 this morning, Zach left this world of shadows for the real world; a soldier who fought the good fight. I salute you sir!

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