Saturday, September 12, 2009

Spiritual Growth Is Not Automatic, Natural or Painless

I have learned this week, once more, that it is hard to grow spiritually without conscious focus and dedicated effort. I wish I could offer a profound insight into how I successfully sought and found God's will in my life this week, but, instead, all I can offer is an emphasis that such a quest doesn't happen on its own, automatically, naturally, painlessly.

I was distracted this week by numerous things, and I have nothing more to offer than what I said already:

It is hard to grow spiritually without conscious focus and dedicated


Anonymous said...

Hi Ray,sorry to hear this week has not been great.

Spiritual growth may not come without effort,but sometimes it does come almost organically-like growth.I've had times in my life when to my surprise I find myself dealing with circumstances better than i may have anticipated,given my track record.Then i realise that on reflection,I have been working on it for a long time.Often such a long time that the stages in the growth process have crept up on me.I'm always so glad when this happens.I'm really not that good with the goal setting thing,as i've said before,but I think i may be good at being earnestly engaged.Different strokes for different folks huh.It's good to know that the Lord works with me in a way that is congruent to me,that this does not have to be a process of me bending myself out of shape.Maybe more growing towards the light.

Ryan said...

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. -- John 3:8

Sometimes it's really hard to pin down the progress we're making, especially at short time scales. I know the same happens to me with learning language, and also with the kids growing up. One day it just dawns on you, "Wow, I didn't used to understand a word that guy says!" or, "Wow, she's so tall!"

Of course, there are those days where the kid had a growth spurt in the night and really is measurably taller in the morning than when she went to bed... but most of the accumulated height comes imperceptibly.

Tatiana said...

One thing that gives me hope on weeks when I don't see to be making any progress is the observation that life usually progresses in spurts with fallow periods in between. Just as we are active during the day and then sleep at night, or as our gardens grow in Spring and Summer, and die back in Winter, so all our growth, be it mental, spiritual, or physical, comes in waves of forward motion interspersed with times of rest or waning. During times like that, I just try to be still and regroup myself for the next wave. At least that's how I try to approach it. Looking at it that way, it might be that we make more progress than we realize.

Mama D said...

Tatiana, thank you!! I have never considered the times of non-progress as "fallow periods in between." Active during the day and sleep at night. Spring and winter. Growth and rest.

"During times like that, I just try to be still..."

It makes so much sense! I love the scriptures that say, "Be still and know that I am God." Now I have a new depth of understanding to apply to those verses. Thanks for sharing your insight.