April 11, 2012

With the Grown-ups Now

In January I finally became a bona fide grown-up.
What, you ask, could I have done to merit this? Something significant—I started attending adult Sabbath school. The very one my parents would go to if they went to my church. In fact, I attend class with my parents’ friends. And this is a big deal.
Let me tell you the back story. When I graduated from high school, I attended a large university church that had a Sabbath school for college, postgraduate, and others fresh out of school. It was its own community—a church within a church—and it was easy to merge into. Well, sort of, because I do remember feeling very weird that I, as an 18-year-old, went to the same weekly gathering as my thirtysomething orthodontist.
2012 1510 page6When I got married, moved across the country, and started attending the church I belong to now, we went to the collegiate/young adult group. We used the same lesson study as the adults who met in the sanctuary, but our class had a decidedly younger vibe, of course.
Then my first child was born, and it was cradle roll time. With another child who joined our family four years later, I spent a total of eight years in cradle roll. Why didn’t I join the adult group then? Because mercifully, our church’s young adult group still sort of fit the bill. So I spent my Sabbaths there for a few more years, first as a class participant, then a short while later as a sidekick to my husband, who became one of the group’s teachers. At that point the group had changed considerably. Nearly everyone my age had small children and migrated to cradle roll, as I had done previously. The new group was made of college kids and postgrads born in the 1980s, and now I was the teacher’s wife, occasional host for lunches we’d sponsor for them, and baker of banana bread—prepared to entice the class to show up on time.
But as with all good things, this role came to an end when my husband’s term ended. And now there was nowhere to go but “up.” Upstairs, to the adult class, that is.
I won’t deny the first Sabbath we attended class with “classmates” whom I’d grown up calling “Uncle” and “Aunty” was interesting. But we felt better when our teacher welcomed us and said he was happy to have “young people” with them.
So is it so bad? Of course not. I think this class is where we belong now—especially seeing as our firstborn will be a teenager in a year and she really can’t have parents hanging out with college kids anymore.
The beauty of a fellowship of believing people comes from our diversity. Diversity in culture, language, age, and experience. As we work through each lesson together—some of us following along with paper versions, and others of us with our iPhones or iPads—our goals are the same. We seek to reach the kingdom and see our King.
And with God’s blessing, we will do it together—young, old, and all those in between.
Wilona Karimabadi edits KidsView, Adventist Review’s magazine for children. This article was published April 12, 2012.