GIVE: Growing by the Spirit — Healthy Growth Takes Time

GIVE! … By the Spirit™ with Dr. Pennie Murray

Healthy Growth Takes Time

© 2010 Pennie Murray

April 20, 2010

We have all taken on a task or project that seemed simple and doable. Then after a while you start to wonder what the heck you got yourself into because what you thought was simple turned out to be more complex, and a pain in the butt.

Changing to accommodate your personal growth is often the same way—it seems doable at first, but the task turns out to be a greater challenge and test of your will then you thought. Think about it—if you really knew what was entailed in your personal growth or what was expected for you to expand yourself—you would never do it. Fortunately, if you stick with it, the return on your invested efforts can yield great results. The key is to be realistic about your growth and to take your time.

I love curling up on the sofa with some popcorn and a good movie. I believe every movie has a classic line. One of my favorite movies, Contact, stars Jodie Foster and it has such a line. In the movie Foster’s character is cautioned by her father not to rush growth and progress by saying,

“Small steps Ellie—small steps.”

As individuals, we approach every endeavor of personal growth with our own learning curve, which is influenced by our experiences—positive and negative. For instance, you may be learning to trust your decisions in day-to-day activities, where someone else may be learning to be more interdependent in their intimate relationship. Whatever your learning curve is, there are three basic rules:

  1. More often than not it will take more effort and courage to get through your growth process than you or anyone else anticipated.
  2. You grow in steps—therefore you must give yourself enough time on a daily basis to nurture and develop yourself.
  3. The strength and depth of your growth is determined by the time you spend refining and applying the skill and knowledge you learn during the process.

Reading books, listening to tapes, attending meetings, etc, are merely the first, but small, step in the right direction—but they cannot replace actually using what you learn.

In our microwave, drive-thru, instant gratification society, we’ve come to expect or seek out quick-fixes—but real growth happens in small unceasing steps. I am a firm believer that now more than ever, Spirit is urging each of us to transcend to greater levels of personal growth —and there is no quick or instant way to achieving this. While, without a doubt, growth can be demanding, tough and sometimes problematic, I strongly encourage you to allow yourself to flourish and grow beyond what is safe or acceptable. But remember healthy growth takes time —so GROW SLOW—but by all means GROW with Spirit!

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One Response

  1. Contact is one of my all time favorite movies! I used to be able to quote darn near every line, much to the chagrin of anyone forced to watch the movie with me. 🙂 But one of my fave lines is the one you quoted. Great life lesson packed in to just a few words.

    Thank you for this reminder! Healthy growth does indeed take time.

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