A few weeks back Justin and I began a venture.
An endeavor to grow things.
Lettuce and Carrots
That is what we are growing in our little garden. (pictured above)
In just a few short weeks the garden has germinated and sprouted so well.
The little baby shoots are a consistent encouragement to keep on pursuing this ‘green thumb’ attempt.
And with the growth of the plants,
came thoughts about what it means to grow…
It appears to be such a simple concept,
we all grow.
we can not help it.
but to think about specific aspects of growth is interesting.
Here are a few, perhaps a bit choppy, of my own thoughts on growth.
I feel authentic growth happens in cycles.
We are all learning all the time, but learning is not growth.
Someone wise once said, ‘it can feel like you are growing when you learn’
but it is just an illusion
Growth brings change/action
Learning often stops at knowledge
Learning often leads to growth
but the differentiation must be made
or we are deceiving ourselves.
In these cycles of growth,
there are times of intensity and then a regaining of balance
the intensity or perhaps a better word would be emphasis, comes from sharply focusing on a specific part of growth
so it weighs on your mind
it comes up in conversation
it is acknowledged daily
in short, it receives much attention,
and then you reach a point where there is growth in regards to that aspect and then things fall back into a balance
until, of course, there is a focus on something else.
Sometimes I wish there did not have to be intense times of growth,
but that growth could happen in a balanced way all the time.
I think I feel that way because in times of intense focus on one thing,
other things can be neglected
and it is also possible to not have clear thought in regards to the specific aspect in which there is aiming to be growth.
Objectivity is hard in intense times,
and subjectivity is deceiving at times.
I suppose the goal would be to find balance in the intensity,
but still embrace the intensity as an opportunity to focus on specific growth.
This is something I am still thinking on…
One of the worst things about growth is that as humans we compare our maturing and growth to others.
I will not say that this is all bad,
however the habit of always doing this,
can lead to loss of identity and frustration.
It is good to compare because it can be received like an outside perspective,
a reminder to evaluate oneself.
but it is bad to compare because we are all so different.
The cycles of growth are different.
I can see this often in couples,
comparing the status of one’s own relationship to that of another,
and then if the ‘imagined maturity/growth’ is not at the same level
then something is wrong.
This is a danger,
1) It could force the couple to be in a place that they just can’t be at yet, such as expecting a newly dating couple to have the same type of connection and bond as an engaged couple. The timing just is not right yet, and it is okay, it is okay to allow time for growth. Certain advice can not be applied until time has passed, certain things can not be addressed until time has passed and they become authentically prevalent. It is okay not to rush those things and not to feel like they need to be addressed before it is time.
2) Because every couple, every combination of people, is different, and something another couple would have to work through and grow in, another couple might not have to. Growth isn’t a generalized process, in which every person must work on every one of a certain amount of certain probelms. It would just be bringing up problems that are not even problems and then expecting a change to occur where change did not even need to happen. It can confuse and frustrate.
In the end, the very basic focus needs to be on Christ, always on Christ,
but the recognition of differences in people needs to be remembered.
We are all different people, from different places, with different convictions which creates different dynamics.
Instead of only comparing, we need to evaluate, with a clear mind and a focused heart on Christ,
because He will provide the clarity and the ability to recognize what specific things need growth and change in a relationship, and He is able to cater to each and every relationship and person perfectly to indicate the need for growth and convict.
Because where evaluation leads to growth,
comparing alone leads to worry and a lack of stability.
As I think about all of these things,
I can not help but feel so thankful that I have such a solid foundation to remain on,
it would be a daunting task to approach life feeling like it is all my job to decide what I need to grow in and what I am ok in,
to trust all in my own conviction as to what needs to change.
But I have a resident counselor,
the Holy Spirit,
who is so able,
so powerfully present,
and so willing,
to be the foundation,
to be the indicator.
My task is to focus solely on Christ and then humbly pray to hear clearly the prodding of the Holy Sprit in my life.
My focus must remain on Christ.
it is interesting to think about,
so, what do you think?