It’s a word we all understand the concept of but, in practice, it can mean different things to different people.
For some, growth might only be recognised in the big accomplishments of life; the fulfilment of hopes and dreams.
For others, it might simply be getting out of bed in the morning and taking a shower.Or, getting through another day without giving in to fear or addiction.
We don’t all grow at the same speed.
Our growth can be dependent upon our past, our experiences, our knock backs and our success rate.
It can be affected by the level of encouragement (or lack of) that we’ve had throughout our lives.
For those of us that are struggling to grow for whatever reason at the moment, and for whom life seems stagnant, take heart that growth is actually only a series of very small incremental changes.
We don’t have to feel like we can conquer the whole world.
We can simply take one tiny, fairy, step in the right direction.
That’s enough. That’s growth!
Martin Luther King Jr. said, “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But, whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”
Growth: You Do You
We need not, and should not, compare our growth with another person’s.
It’s more important that our own growth is authentic and sustainable; trying to keep up with someone else is only a recipe for disappointment.
So, ‘you-do-you’ and be comfortable with that.
Remember that little steps are just that: steps. And, all steps lead somewhere.
You are heading in the right direction.
For those of us whose lives are thriving, let’s see how growth can be sustained.
If you look at the lives of people who have never stopped growing you will see a pattern in which they have never stopped evolving.
It’s as if they have continually reinvented themselves, which is exactly what they have done.
You see, growth plateaus once we arrive at our desired destination.
Look how many sportswomen and men go on to excel at other sports.
Once they’ve grown to the extent of being awesome at their sport, they use their learning abilities to become awesome at something else.
Just because something is working for them, doesn’t mean they want to stop growing and evolving.
It’s a constant pattern in anything that’s healthy.
Don’t Rest On Your Laurels
Once we become complacent and rest on our laurels, we will stop growing.
This is true professionally, personally and spiritually.
Many people stay in a particular job far too long; until it becomes an ill-fitting garment.
A marriage doesn’t continue to be a healthy marriage without constant work: re-adjustments and finding new, interesting, and exciting ways to interact with one another.
Our relationship with God grows stagnant if we don’t mix things up a bit and keep it fresh.
It was Albert Einstein who said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”.
And yet how often do we do just that?
We approach our life, relationships with others and with God in the same old, tired, way; day after day, month after month, and year after year.
Why not shake it up a bit?
How about daring to change your career if you’ve always wanted to?
Or, what about surprising your spouse by doing something unexpected and out of the ordinary?
And, spiritually, why not branch away from the routine, tried and tested way, in which you approach God, prayer and worship?
I’ve often wondered if omnipresence has its drawbacks….
God must be so bored by our routines at times.
Dare to try some things you have not done before.
What’s the worst that can happen?
So, as we learn how to grow, in small incremental ways each day (a bit of tweaking here, a bit of adjustment there), celebrating small victories along the way, our life can expand in countless ways.
We can keep on re-inventing how we do life, so that we remain feeling alive and excited, full of wonder and anticipation.
Take The Leap
Ask yourself, do I need to push any boundaries today?
Do you need to widen any spaces? Open or close any doors?
Start new habits, stop old habits?
Pay more attention, show more interest, make more effort?
Be bold, or brave?
Lighten up, be less religious?
Become more open, be more loving?
Talk more, talk less, listen more?
Take a risk, dare to dream again?
To be kind to yourself?
If that’s the case, take the leap.
Grow! Evolve! Enjoy this life, your job, your relationships and God.
We only get one chance, so let’s learn life’s lessons quickly.
And, if your growth today was getting dressed, brushing your teeth and taking a deep breath as you find the courage to face another day, then I applaud you.
I acknowledge, that is a massive step!
If you enjoyed this devotion, check out other devotions we have on the site here.