19. Growth

¦it is rather by meeting the larger spirit that lies behind life, recognising the impulse which meets us in a thousand forms, which forces us not to be content with narrow and petty things, but emerges as the energy, whatever it is, that pushes through the crust of life, as the flower pushes through the mould. Our dulness, our acquiescence in monotonous ways, arise from our not realising how infinitely important that force is, how much it has done for man, how barren life is without it.


   — Benson, Joyous Gard, Growth




The force, or energy, that Benson speaks of in his chapter on growth is the life-giving realization that you — and all of life — are in God’s hands, and that even in our awkwardness and indolence we are tending toward a purpose. The question for us is whether we are willing to build the place in our souls where we seek and enjoy the beauty of God’s operating wisdom. Are you willing to be moved? Do you welcome change?


From my vantage point it’s all too common to feel “stuck,” like you can’t move – stuck in a job or a position, stuck in a mindset or a mood, stuck in a routine or a bad habit. The habit of growth, on the other hand, is the practice of constantly moving beyond the more common ways of thinking and living.  It is the habit of escaping the restlessness and angst of a mind bogged down by the business of a day.


Moving On


Growth is the last is a series of thoughts I call The Outer Mind, and tomorrow we begin a series on the more introspective and interpretative habits of mind. While our humanity enables us to  operate in the more technical realms of this world, as engineer, physician, and teacher, our heritage and original nature is that of a deep thinker – a philosopher and storyteller. In my opinion, it is our deepest desire to shape meaning from life’s events and to render it purposeful.


Day 19 Guide


Today, prepare your mind to make a move to the deeper, inner mind. Charge your senses with things of love, beauty and desire. And want of things that please and satisfy a hungry spirit. The native desire is to feel the presence of purpose and the ties of belongingness. Give yourself over to God’s leading, and cherish your relationships.


© 2005, Levi Hill

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