Most growth doesn’t just happen.
Aside from growing taller throughout your youth and the kind of conditional growth that can occur by surrounding yourself with exceptional individuals on a consistent basis, I can think of no positive growth that happens without some kind of concentrated effort.
Without exercise our bodies will create fat and not muscle.
Without education our minds will grow dull and not sharp.
Without mentors our development will grow stagnant and not mature.
Without discipleship our faith will grow faint and not strong.
Do you see what I’m getting at?
The kind of growth and development that are supposed to define your formative college years will not happen simply because you arrive on campus.
You’ll need to work at it. You’ll need to be intentional.
So as you prepare to make your way back to campus in the coming weeks, give prayerful consideration to the area(s) of your life that you wish to see growth — even transformation — in this year.
Once you identify the area(s) you wish to focus on this year, make a plan.
- Identify 2-4 clearly definable (and attainable) goals that you can earnestly work towards.
- Determine any necessary or appropriate steps you can take towards each of those goals on a consistent basis. What are the short-term tasks or practices you can do that will help you move towards accomplishing your goals.
- Discern who can help you reach growth goals. Do you need a mentor? Maybe a small group of peers? Are you willing to help others reach their goals while they help you reach yours?
This summer my 6-year old daughter finally decided she was ready to take the training wheels off her little bike.
I’ve been asking her about doing this off and on for the past year and a half. While she would typically express some excitement about the idea of it, her attitude would quickly change when I would begin to pull out my wrench and move towards her precious wheel-attachments.
Again, she like the idea of it all — growing up and riding her bike like her older siblings.
But she struggled with the fear of falling.
She didn’t believe she could do it.
She convinced herself that it was better to just keep those extra little wheels affixed to her bicycle — that is until her younger cousin showed up for a visit and proceeded to ride a two-wheeler all around the driveway and yard — keeping pace with the older kids.
At some point during that same visit my sweet, safe six-year old sidled up next to me and said, “Daddy, I want to take the training wheels off of my bike — after our company goes home.”
Her little cousin had given her a glimpse at life beyond the training wheels — and she now wanted it for herself. She was motivated to attain change in this area of her life. She wasn’t sure what it would entail — like falling down, learning to balance on her two wheels, learning to balance and steer at the same time, etc. But she was now determined to do whatever was required.
And wouldn’t you know it — within a couple of short afternoons her slightly older sister had her racing about the house — on two wheels!
So I circle back to you…
Where do you desire to see growth and formation in your life in the coming year?
What are the fears that you need to deal with as it relates to this area?
And what are you willing to do to achieve the growth and development you desire?