Seagull, Emma, Jacob and Maturity

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See the source image

We walked beside the sea yesterday afternoon. There was the usual assortment of seagulls, including youngsters in their juvenile feathers. One comical-looking herring gull caught our attention. He was a beautiful glossy grey and white adult – with a juvenile brown fluffy head. Not quite grown up. A young head on a mature body.

The day before I’d seen a similarly odd looking blackbird in our garden. A shiny black adult male, but with the brown fluffy head of childhood…chickhood?

Musing… young heads on adult shoulders… immaturity in the mature… thinking of one or two friends I smile…

Saturday night we watched Emma Raducanu win the American Open Tennis Championship. The 18-year-old Brit defeated Leylah Fernandez, a 19-year-old Canadian. Both of the young women impressed… the standard of tennis, their youth, their smiles, the way they spoke, addressing thousands in the stadium and millions watching on television as they received their trophies…

Young people showing maturity beyond their years…

Musing… children I have taught who had to grow up quickly – those caring for a disabled parent, witnessing addictions in their home, living with bereavement. They developed old heads on young shoulders.

Musing… the Bible-story of Jacob the twin, born grasping the heel of his slightly older brother. Jacob means ‘heel-grabber’ – tripping someone up… implying fraudulent, deceitful, crooked…

He lived up to his name, tricking his brother, deceiving his blind, dying father, leaving home to escape his brother’s revenge.

20 years later he’s a rich man with a big family… but still deceitful, immature Jacob.

He decides to return home and face his brother. He encounters a man who he wrestles with all night. His name’s changed to Israel ‘…because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.’   

Musing… Jacob becomes Israel… the immature grabber becomes the mature struggler. Maturity came by facing up to his past and struggling with his present… and realising that he’s wrestled with his God.

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