I have four children. I never had to tell my child to grow. They just did. As long as the child is healthy, that's what healthy children do - they grow. And the opposite is true. If there is disease or illness, the child will not grow.
But there's something interesting about growth. Growth only occurs through pain. We forget that.
As my children would hit their growth spurts where they would grow several inches in a matter of months, they would wake my wife and I up in the middle of the night because they were complaining that their bones hurt. That's what happens when the bones grow several inches in a matter of months - it hurts.
I have no idea how growth would have taken place had the fall never taken place. But ever since the fall, growth only occurs through pain.
But here's the thing: our culture is all about avoiding pain. And as a result, we've got a culture that is stunted in growth, a culture that is selfish and immature, a culture that is lost and refuses to take responsibility.
Growth can only occur through pain.
- That means at some point we have to learn to do the stuff we don't want to do because it's the right thing to do.
- That means that we have to learn to sacrifice for the good of our country and our community even though sacrifice hurts.
- That means that we learn to live selflessly and relearn what it means to be have a corporate identity before our individual identity.
And if we don't learn these things? Death is the result. Society and America as we know it will die.
That's what happens to civilizations and organizations when they become totally inwardly focused.
What happens when we learn to not only expect the pain of growth but welcome it? Health. Vitality. Life.
That's what we have to look forward to.
I don't know about the world and organizations you live in, but the world I live in, the church I worship in, the denomination I am a part of, and the country I live in could sure use health, vitality, and life about now.