Yesterday I had an argument with my son. Well, it was a joking around argument. He came upstairs in jeans that were getting too short and I told him to stop growing. He said, “it’s not my fault.” We then continued to yell that back and forth at one another for a few minutes. (He turns 8 tomorrow and is a bit excited about hitting that milestone. I, on the other hand, while excited to see the boy he is becoming, am realizing that he’s growing up way too fast!) This morning, it was a shirt that the sleeves were too short. I again told him to stop growing. He again told me it wasn’t his fault and we had a nice little laugh.
As I was sitting in church yesterday, I was thinking about that argument. And the fact that in a sense, he is right. It isn’t his “fault” that he continues to grow up. It’s the way he is made. It is how we have all been created. We grow up. Whether we want to or not. He can’t help it that he keeps outgrowing his clothes. He can’t change the fact that he doesn’t want to play with baby toys anymore, but instead wants to play with legos and Nintendo DS games. It’s a natural process, growing up, both in stature and in mental/cognitive ways.
But in some ways I think we can either help or stunt our growth. If we don’t eat well as a youngster, we may not grow to our potential. In the same way, if we don’t feed our spiritual selves well as adults and as Christians, we won’t grow to the potential that Christ has for us. We may continue to grow in little ways, but without some effort on our part, we may stunt our spiritual growth. And this growth process happens as we spend time with the Lord and His Word on our own, certainly, but it also happens as we spend time with others who can speak into our growth. This can happen as we meet with a small group of people on a regular basis. Or a mentor/spiritual guide occasionally. For me, one aspect that has been missing is some one on one time with a friend, going through a book and really talking about the implications of that on my/our life/lives. It’s pretty easy for me to read a book and get convicted or encouraged about certain things, but without someone asking, “so what does that mean for you and how are you going to implement that?” it is also easy to just stay at convicted or encouraged and not take any action to make changes that lead to more spiritual growth.
So, beginning this week, I will be meeting with a friend each Wednesday to talk about those kinds of issues. The first book that we are going to tackle is Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, and we’ll see what kind of growth we can encourage in one another. Because I don’t want it to be my fault that I don’t grow into the person the God has created me to be.
How are you feeling about your growth these days?