The Nature of Growth
Recently my husband and I purchased 35 acres of land. Most of the land is wooded, but around the woods paths cut into the landscape. I adore walking down these trails. Every time I visit I look to see what new wonders can be found. Are there fresh animal tracks today? Can I detect remnants of our neighbor, Mr. Bunny? I look for freshly ripened dewberries and observe the wildflowers cloaking the trails. Most of all, I bask in the growth of the plants: ostrich ferns, hydrangea bushes, fig-trees, and pear trees, to name a few. With each visit, beauty and splendor greet me and I wonder at the new growth.
Much like I desire the growth of my plants, I desire my own growth. I long to learn and do so much I desire to think, write, and speak more clearly. I desire to not only contemplate deep things, but also to understand deep things. Homer, Plato, and C.S. Lewis beckon me to fellowship, but once in their midst I am stupefied. What are they even saying?
At times I reprimand myself for not understanding, for not attaining. I think I should know this—come on!
Is it wrong to desire growth? No, but perhaps it is wrong to focus so much on the growth that I become exasperated. Everyone knows that plants do not grow leaps and bounds while being watched. Instead, they grow steadily little by little in imperceptible measures. Do I demand too much growth of myself at one time? Probably.
Just like my plants, I need to slow down. I need to enjoy the deep conversations with these authors. I need to dialogue with community. I need to savor words both spoken and written to allow the good nutrients to seep down into my soul. I need to contemplate the truth, goodness, and beauty of the Lord. Most importantly, I need to just be me. And allow the growth to happen imperceptibly until one day I realize there’s new growth!
by Lindsey Brigham Knott
by Joshua Gibbs
by Cheryl Swope
by David Kern