15 April 2009


i've been thinking about growing lately, in the sense of maturing and discovering and exploring and moving forward. i'm not sure exactly what the source of the thinking has been, although wondering about next year and what would be best and what would bring me the most joy and satisfaction are probably part of it :)

i have a sense that some growing comes more naturally than others. as a child, you move forward in levels, are challenged to learn new things, and just grow physically. as you approach adulthood, you move towards settling down in a career, buying a house and a car, getting married, starting a family. with parenting, you are pushed to grow with as children grow (and expctations and relationships change), healthy growth can and should be happening.

the question i've been wondering about is what happens when the expected movement forward doesn't happen? how do you grow then? what happens when you don't exactly settle down in a career? what about growing while travelling around or while still staying in school? when you don't get married? how can you grow in relationships that aren't about getting married? or when there's no children? or when you lose your house or your job? or you lose your spouse or a child?

and i wonder about these questions because it seems like my life hasn't exactly taken the normal ways of growing and maturing. and i don't always know how to mature and grow. i feel a lot like i'm waiting a lot and wondering. and this sense of stopping can mean going backwards, through losing some of the growth and the ability/desire to grow.

i hope that my wonder about growing is a sign that i deeply desire to grow; that i would desire to continue to develop as a biblical scholar, to explore teaching, to grow in relationship with others, to discover new things about my self, to struggle over my place in the community, to be surprised in my relationship with God, and to be challenged to explore with wonder the world (places, ideas, and people) around me. and to make it concrete by wondering about what is next.

postscript: the challenges of figuring out how to live with the not going forward in the expected ways and having to wait well are explored in this recent article, "The Season of Waiting."

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