I have always wished I was taller. All the men on my father’s side were 6’ or nearly so. Sadly I got my height genes from my mother’s side and just about make 5’ 6”. It was rather depressing when I realised I had stopped growing and wasn’t going to get any taller.
On a Quiet Day recently we were thinking about growing inwardly and spiritually and we were encouraged to go into the garden of the house and look at buds on bushes and trees, etc. and shoots emerging in the borders. It was suggested that as we did that we should think about what new things might be emerging in our own lives that would represent new growth. Initially I thought that maybe I am too old to grow but then it struck me that, while I may have stopped growing physically decades ago, we are never too old to grow inwardly and spiritually.
Whether we believe in God or not, this is about maturing, getting wiser, maybe developing a clearer sense of what is important in life and what is not. For Christians it can be about growing a in a knowledge and love of God; being more open to God’s guiding and leading; getting better at loving others. Even as our physical bodies decline this type of growth remains possible.
What can we do to encourage this type of growth? Just as a new plant needs space to grow and the right kind of environment so we need to create space in our lives for this kind of growth. Lots of us tend to fill our lives with doing things. By creating little spaces in our lives to be quiet and to think, we may be able to ask ourselves whether all of the things we are doing are really the things we want to be doing or whether any of them can be dropped to create space to do things we would prefer to do or which we realise are more important.
So, as you watch the buds bursting into life this Spring, why not reflect on what may be growing in you or ways in which you would like to grow. We may not get taller but we may get wiser.