There's a tension that exists between truths about early spiritual investing.
Today I was appreciating an infographic about the benefits of early-in-life financial investments.
This is also true of spiritual investment. When you have learned Scripture early, when you have practiced faith and served others over decades, there is such benefit! You have participated in so many Bible studies and taken notes on so many excellent teachings that it seems normal to already know the Scriptures that are related to a topic and find that while you may not know the chapter and verse, you have the rhythm of the words resonating in your soul.
So while you are investing early, financially, it's also wisdom to be sowing into spiritual "growth-stocks." Jesus talks about reaping what you've sown, and you want to be able to reap in your maturity some of the good things from decades ago.
But I said there was a tension.
The tension is that if two 58-year-olds are together on a park bench and one has been devoted to Christ for 54 years while the other is a relative newbie, having submitted herself to Him just four years ago, they are spiritual equals. Holy Spirit is speaking equally to each, and both have the same chance of being able to tune in to what He's saying at any moment. The years are irrelevant in so many ways.
I often think of it in terms of sunlight from the star Sol and two hikers on a hypothetical mountain trail. One hiker has been hard at it, for hours or even days climbing. He faces into the sunshine and appreciates how it fills him. Another hiker has been actually going the wrong way and any which way and has just now, far below the first, turned her face upwards into the sunshine and is filled with glorious warmth. The invitation to both is the Narnian call to come "further up and further in." And although one hiker is literally closer to the sun than the other, there is no substantive advantage to himself vs. the newly awakened hiker.
So. Invest early in spiritual growth? Yes!! But like the early worker in the parable of the day's wages, there is no advantage to yourself in doing so.