I've got this t-shirt that says "the only constant is change, there's only growth or decay." I bought it because I resonated with that phrase. I kind of hate it now. Not in a "that phrase is so far off" sort of way but more in a "man I wish that phrase was more off" sort of way. The thing is that decay is comfortable. It's easy. You can even decay in such a gradual manner that it looks an awful lot like keepin' on keepin' on. But I've had this steady itch in the back of my mind that's pushed me towards growth this year and it's been amazing and really taxing all at the same time.
I think the reason that it's been taxing is I want to be able to say that I did it, that I made it. I've been struggling lately with this desire to feel like I've arrived, that I've come to a place where I can essentially say that I've become the man that I'm supposed to be, that I'm "all growns up" (for lack of a better term). God's having none of that. This year has been one long stretch fest. I feel like Bilbo in the Hobbit when he says that he feels like butter spread over too much bread. It's been a year of being constantly reminded that there's stuff to grow in, be stretched in, be transparent in. And that stuff isn't going to just get fixed. In fact, they're part of the larger processes that will most likely define my life for the rest of the time that I've given.
In the past I've had this tendency to come to moments of calm, moments where I'm not being pushed, tested, challenged, etc. and thought "yeah, I did it... I made it" (respect to Kevin Rudolf). But I'm realizing, more and more, that these are just the layovers. The exchanges from growth to growth, the moments where God, in his infinite wisdom and compassion, allows us a break, a rest, before he says "come on now, you can do it, it's time to press in again." There's something exciting in that, a stirring momentum that reminds you that this is all a steady push towards heaven, towards experiencing the glory we were always intended for. I think I'm way farther from having arrived than I've ever thought, but I think that's ok.