Where is your growth?

One of the plants in our front garden looks like this on top:

The bush was last shaped about a month ago, and, as you can see, it already has shoots extending up to at least two feet beyond the rest of the bush.

As far as I know, the entire bush gets the same water and nutrients.  So I couldn’t help but wonder: why don’t all the branches grow at the same rate?  Or even close to the same rate?

Hypotheses started shooting through my mind as possible answers to these questions. The Theologian in me, of course, wanted God to be involved in determining which branches grew faster than others.  The philosopher in me realized that if there was any scientist in me at all, I could come up with some procedures to check the plant more closely and learn some zoological explanation.

I realized quickly that many of us Christians (and probably other religious people) are prone to offer our “God in the gaps” to this kind of question.  If we can’t explain it, God must be behind it. Until we learn to explain it, then God didn’t do it, so God must be working elsewhere… and we are off to look for another gap in our understanding into which we can insert God.

Not wanting to get into some long-winded spiritualized explanation (and this not just for fear of Audie setting me straight) my thoughts wandered off in other directions.

I’ve landed on one that, I think, doesn’t depend on a God of gaps and yet finds something to learn from this bush. We could, or someone could, no doubt, determine why those few branches grew faster than the rest.

What we don’t need experts or zoologists or bad theologians for is to recognize that growth is happening, and it happen unevenly.

As I think about my own life, both over the past 46 years and currently, my growth hasn’t been even.  In some areas I shoot ahead, while in others I lag.  I’m going to think more about this and share some current growth areas.

Until then, in what ways are you growing these days?  Are there ways you’d like to be growing that you aren’t?

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