Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.

Carl Bard

Continued from last week’s blog….

To grow is a lifetime pursuit. 

I am convinced of that.  Growth promotes growth
When we are not growing, we become complacent;  something we must resist our entire lives.

But it’s hard work to stretch ourselves.  To change.

Harder still to even admit we need to change. Complacency and pride are the easier choices.  But they lead to an unteachable, hard heart, off the path of growth.
We find our vitality in the struggle of growth.  And our purpose. This is true at any age.
Caring for a mom with Alzheimer’s is the struggle I find myself in right now. While I deeply desire to help her, if I am honest, it can be the last thing I feel like doing.  It’s hard work emotionally. Her daily calls for help;  her desires to be restored to all that she once knew; her anger and frustration.  It’s an intricate walk;  a walk of sadness intermixed at times with hope, of guilt intermixed with resolve,  of frustration coupled with compassion.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

I wonder what good can come out of a disease that slowly kills the mind.  

How can mom still grow in all this?  And how does all this help me grow? Does this leg of the journey really need to be so hard for her?  For us? How do I reach her?  How can I ease her anxiety?
In response, God gently whispers the same answers to these questions that He gave me weeks ago.   “Point her to me.  I am the source of life.  I am the bread she needs still needs in  this final leg of her journey.  As all around her grows dim and confusing, she needs my light more than ever.”

Reading scripture to my mom, and praying with her, soothes her spirit and reaches her heart. 

I know this. Why do I forget? She can’t grow mentally anymore.  Nor physically.  Even her emotions are all out of whack.  But her spirit remains intact. And it is by spiritual means that I reach her heart, where her desires, motivations, character and attitudes spring from.
Mom needs daily reminders of God’s truth because her mind forgets.  Are we any different?  How easy it is to become spiritually dull of hearing, forgetting what really sustains us.
From birth through retirement, we must keep our feet upon the path of growth, especially that of a pure heart. We all fall off at times, lured by the worries and distractions in this world, yet God graciously draws us back and sets our feet on the solid path, when we let go of pride and yield again to Him.

Why is life so hard at times?

If you are like me, it’s in the easy stretches of my journey, that I quit hungering and thirsting after righteousness.  Then I easily become sidetracked.  It’s in the tough stretches of the race, when I long for living water to sustain me, that I maintain forward movement.
For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life.
The gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction.

Simple words that contain a deep, true yet difficult message.   

The path of growth, of becoming pure (like Him),  is arduous.  Jesus gives us a new heart.   We then have a huge role to play in the formation of who we become;  our habits and character.  And much of it has to do with our decisions, the steps we take each day that move us in one direction or another.  In the final analysis, the quality of our lives will be determined by the purity of our hearts.  And the only path to a pure heart is to pursue and  keep our eyes on Him throughout the journey.

How do we keep our kids growing and learning rather than becoming complacent?

This is the topic for next week’s blog

How is God calling you to grow today?

Hebrews 3:7-11

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
on the day of testing in the wilderness,
where your fathers put me to the test
and saw my works for forty years.
10 Therefore I was provoked with that generation,
and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart;
they have not known my ways.’
11 As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest.’”