Blog # 46 GROWTH
See the lilies of the field, Jesus said, how they grow.
Certainly if God creates the grass of a field with potential for growth how much more confidence we should have in the process of our personal spiritual growth. With reasonable care our bodies grow. How much more confident we should be that with reasonable care our spirits our faith and our generosity our prayer will also grow.
I once read of a woman who visited the seashore on a particular occasion She was feeling blue. There was little evidence of meaning in her life. Things seamed to be going around in circles monotonously with little being achieved. Her life seemed like the vast expanse of sand before her, flat, the same throughout, with little variation or growth.
Then she discovered on the beach a particular shell that intrigued her. She picked it up and began to study it in detail The lines, the color, all were beautiful when you studied them.
The shell became for her the work of an artist. She went from the shell to the sand to the ocean to the sky to God and back to herself. She came away from the beach with a new and impressive insight into the fact God was with her as He was in the shell, designing her life with no less care nor wisdom than that with which He designed the shell. She merely had to reflect upon it. She was encouraged. She grew in wisdom.
We can be sure God is with us extending His invitation to us to grow in wisdom before Him, to grow in our friendship for him, to grow in our awareness of His power and love in our lives. These items constitute the basis for our growth in prayer.
We remind ourselves that growth is not always manifested nor exhausted in an increase in numbers or in volume, such as you might say of a pile of stones which 'grows' by adding to its numbers, or our prayer life might increase by adding to the length or number of our prayers. Growth is not just increase but development.
To grow in prayer we might and must grow in the times we pray but also more importantly grow in the quality of our prayer. You might greet the mail carrier fifty times a year and your son once as he comes back from service in the Army in a far-away place. The difference in the greeting is a difference in quality as well as in number. All the fifty greetings of the mail carrier do not add up to the greeting of your son. So it is with God and our life of prayer.
Father, may our love for You deepen as the days of our lives go on. May we grow in goodness before You and may we not be distracted by the things that should remind us of You. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen!