Curve ball. This is typically asked at the end of the calendar year but because this month marks the end of a series my community group at church has been doing, our group leaders are asking us to be prepared to answer this question this week when we meet and because it’s being asked of me, I now ask it of you. So tell me, how have you grown since May 2010? You know, emotionally, spiritually… What has challenged you and how has it changed you? What did you think you knew last May that you realized you have no clue about? What do you understand better about God? Or what’s less clear about God? That can be a sign of growth too, I think. Realizing the things you don’t know.
For me, it’s been a year of growth—as all years are–but not exponentially. Of course this is all relative. When I lived overseas for a year, I was learning about the countless cultural nuances of the English, fighting against sunless days, missing milestones occurring with my friends and family back home. I was growing daily and feeling the pains of it.
This year’s growth has been much less dramatic, much to my disappointment. But when I look at it closely, I see many changes. My thoughts on a few issues are either in the process of changing or have changed and dramatically so: God’s sovereignty, contentment and my struggle with it, the importance of community and accountability—just to name a few.
Sometimes growth does not necessitate intention, like when you’re living abroad or going through a crisis. Your circumstance provides enough soil. But often growth does require us to be intentional about it. I know if I had told myself every morning since last May to be alert to growing opportunities around me, I would be a different person today.
Perhaps May 2012 will be a product of this mindset.